HEINE, Thomas Theodor
(b. 1867, Leipzig, d. 1948, Stockholm)

Biography

German painter, printmaker and illustrator. He studied at the Academy in Düsseldorf under Peter Janssen (1885-88). He moved to Munich, and in the nearby artists' colony of Dachau, produced around 30 impressionist landscape paintings, for example, The Angler (1892; Lenbachhaus, Munich). In 1892 he worked on the bourgeois family magazine Fliegende Blätter. He began to work with the publisher Albert Langen in 1895, designing covers for brochures and books. Drawings by Heine appeared in the art magazine Pan, and he rose to sudden fame in 1896 with the first issue of the magazine Simplicissimus, produced with Albert Langen.

Unlike other artists working for the magazine, Heine provided the captions for his own pictures. He also had a large variety of styles at his command and used these to different ends. He was particularly influenced by the graphic work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Aubrey Beardsley and by Japanese woodcuts. In images where contrasting areas of colour are connected by the curving lines of Jugendstil, Heine parodied the German petit-bourgeoisie, the double standards of the Wilhelmine period and the sheep-like subservience to authority. He also made ink drawings, which avoid ornamental and decorative elements; these deal critically with unsatisfactory social conditions. Heine's favourite targets were the law, the military and the nobility. In 1898 he was sentenced to six months in prison on an accusation of insulting the monarchy. Even in 1914, when Simplizissimus entered a nationalist and chauvinistic phase, Heine remained true to his principles.

Heine also made important contributions to book illustration, for example, in Hebbel's Judith (1908), Thomas Mann's Wälsungenblut (1921) and to poster art (for the new Simplizissimus, 1896; and the Red Bulldog for the third exhibition of the Berlin Secession, 1902). The Devil, a recurrent theme, was also produced as a bronze sculpture in 1902 (Lenbachhaus, Munich).

After leaving Germany in 1933, Heine lived successively in Prague (until 1938), Oslo (until 1942) and Stockholm. He gained great popularity, especially in Sweden. In 1945, he published an autobiographical novel.