Heinrich Tessmer was born in 1943 in Chemnitz-Rottluff (Saxony). From 1959 to 1962 he studied at the Academy of Art in Dresden and from 1964 to 1969 at the Weissen­see University of the Arts in East Berlin where he taught from 1976 to 1984. From 1984 to 1990 he became professor and head of its painting department. In 1982 he received the Max Lingner Prize of the Academy of Arts of the GDR and in 1985 the Berlin Prize. Tessmer died in Berlin in 2012.