William (or Wilhelm) Peter Benard Heine was born and died in Dresden, Germany. Heine came to the United States in 1849 and remained in this country for ten years. After a brief residence in New York City, he served from 1852 to 1854 as an artist with the Perry expedition to Japan. His watercolor sketches of Japan were then lithographed and appeared in Perry’s narrative of 1856.
Heine had studios in both New York City and Washington, DC, from 1857 to 1859. He returned to Germany in 1859 where he remained until his death.
He exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.