18 April, 2017

Thomas Theodor Heine

Thomas Theodor Heine, was a German painter, draftsman and writer. He was the closest collaborator of the publisher Albert Langen for the magazine Simplicissimus.

Born David Theodor Heine on 28 February 1867 in Leipzig.  Heine was recruited as a draftsman by Albert Langen in April 1896 for the first issue of Simplicissimus. Both had met in Munich, where Heine, having graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, exercised his talent as a rather gifted draftsman. Becoming a rather fierce caricaturist, his style was influenced by Japanese and French art nouveau. In 1898, he served six months in prison for a design deemed unacceptable by the German Imperial Government. He was a close friend of the Italian cartoonist Gabriele Gal Antara.

He is the designer in 1910 of the "bulldog breaking his chain", a motif that will serve to promote the spirit of the magazine for several years. Heine also illustrates many works.

At the end of the First World War, Théodore Heine painted a caricature, "Versailles" (June 1919), which refers to the Treaty of Versailles signed June 28, 1919, and which causes a scandal.

In 1933, when the Nazis came to power, Heine chose to leave Germany, first for Prague, then for Oslo, and finally settled in Stockholm, because of his origins and the threats he was under. In 1942, he published his autobiography, ironically entitled Ich warte auf Wunder (I Wait a Miracle).

Thomas Theodor Heine died on 26 January 1948 in Stockholm.

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