Editor of volumes 3-15 of the magisterial dictionary of artists, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Thieme studied art history in Leipzig, receiving his degree in 1892 under Anton Springer with a dissertation on the work of Hans Schäufelein. He entered the Berlin Gemäldegalerie under Wilhelm Bode. In 1898 he began work on a comprehensive dictionary of artists, architects and decorators enjoinging the assistance of Felix Becker. The two were inspired by the work of G. K.