COCHIN, Charles-Nicolas I
(b. 1688, Paris, d. 1754, Paris)


Engraver, part of a French family of artists. The engraver Nicolas Cochin (1610-after 1649) left Troyes for Paris in the 1640s; he made numerous small engravings, chiefly religious subjects and landscapes, including several for Jules, Cardinal Mazarin. His prints, signed N. Cochin, are often confused with those of his half-brother Noël Cochin (1622-after 1687). It is not clear how they were related to Charles-Nicolas Cochin I and his more celebrated son Charles-Nicolas Cochin II, both of whom were employed in Paris to make reproductions after the most distinguished artists of their day. In addition to his activities as an engraver, draughtsman and writer on the theory of art, Cochin II enjoyed an illustrious public career as Secrétaire Perpétuel of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture.

Charles-Nicolas Cochin I trained with his father, Charles Cochin (fl 1687-88), as a painter, but turned c. 1712 to engraving. In 1729 he was made an associate member (agréé) of the Académie Royale, and in 1731 he was received (reçu) as a full member. He was one of the best interpreters of Antoine Watteau, of Jean-François de Troy and of Jean-Siméon Chardin. He also contributed plates to a suite of engravings after Antoine Coypel for Don Quixote (1724), and to the Recueil Crozat. From the 1740s he made engravings mainly after drawings by his son.