Karl Friedrich Lessing (February 15, 1808 – January 4, 1880), a German historical and landscape painter, was a grandnephew of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, famous playwright and philosopher. K. F. Lessing grew up in Silesia and was very much influenced by its romantic countryside, ancient towns and castles. His family originally did not approve of his artistic inclinations, but he was able to established himself as a successful painter by the time he was of 17. Lessing’s landscape paintings were published by leading German magazines. Later on he began to address historic themes in his art.
“Der letzte Kreuzfahrer” (1835), often known in English as “The Return of the Crusader” depicts an aged knight, returning from the Holy Land. The red cross on his mantle and the black and white banner clearly show that he is a Knight Templar.