Paris 1754 – 1826
Figures by an oratory
Pen and brown ink, brown wash. Laid down on a 19th century mount.
175 x 119 mm – 6 14/16 x 4 11/16 in.
Signed lower right VJ Nicolle.
A prolific draftsman, Nicolle studied at the Royal School of Drawing where he obtained the first prize in perspective in 1771 and then entered the studio of the architect Louis-François Petit-Radel. Although biographical elements are scarce, it is known that he left for Italy where he passionately and abundantly drew colored and charming views, representing palaces and grand architectures as much as quaint street scenes and picturesque views. It is known that he came back to France a few years, since he executed a view of the Château de Valençay in 1799 and got married in 1805, but he went back to Rome in the following years.
Consisting mainly in Italian views, his oeuvre, which includes all the same a few views of France, bears precious testimony to the life and urbanism during the 18th century. Nicolle’s works were collected by “enlightened and refined amateurs” wrote one of his first biographers, Henri Boucher, mentioning among others Hippolyte Destailleurs, Baroness Felix Oppenheim, Maurice de Fleury, Georges Bourgarel, David David-Weill, Count de Reiset, and Seymour de Ricci (Gazette des Beaux-arts, 1923. I, VII, 5th period, p.97-113).