Prof. Dr. Michael Thimann

Chair of Art History


Studies in Art History, Classical Archaeology, Early Christian Archaeology and German Literary Sciences in Kiel, Würzburg, Bologna and Berlin; 1997 Magister Artium; 2000 PhD Doctorate; 2000–2002 Research Assistant at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; 2003–2005 Research Scholarship from the German Research Foundation and the Max Planck Society; 2005–2006 Research Assistant at the Department of Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin; since May 2006 leader (W2) of the Independent Research Group “Das wissende Bild. Epistemologische Grundlagen profaner Bildlichkeit vom 15. bis 19. Jh.” at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut; 2008 Habilitation, University of Basel; Lectureships and substitute professorships in Berlin (HU, FU) and the Universities of Basel, Zürich and Jena; 2010–2012 Professorship of Art History and Visual Studies, University of Passau; since November 2012 professor of Art History, University of Göttingen.

Since 2021 Chairman of the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Erforschung des 19. Jahrhunderts (

  1. Art-historical Semantics (Iconology, Hermeneutics, History of Knowledge and the Visual Arts)
  2. Religious and profane imagery around 1800
  3. Artists’ knowledge and the education of artists from the 15th to the 19th century
  4. The reception of Ovid and mythographical concepts in the early modern era
  5. Theory and practice of drawing
  6. The “Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek” of Aby Warburg in Hamburg (edition of the library catalogue)

  1. Dr. Isabella Augart, Research Assistant
  2. Frieda Emma Westermeyer, Student Assistant