Thomas Theodor Heine was a German painter and illustrator. Born in Leipzig Heine established himself as a gifted caricaturist at an early age. He studied art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and, briefly at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
From 1896 he became successful as an illustrator for the satirical Munich magazine Simplicissimus, for which he appropriated the stylistic idiom of Jugendstil and the graphic qualities of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley and Japanese woodcuts.
His critical cartoons on the social order and the monarchy, in particular, led to a six-month prison sentence in 1898.
The magazine Simplicissimus came under attack of the Sturmabteilung SA but was not forbidden by the Nazis under the condition that Heine (of Jewish descent) was dismissed.
He fled Germany in 1933, first to Prague. From 1938 until 1942 he lived in Oslo, and from 1942 until his death in 1948 he lived in Stockholm.