Charles-Nicolas Cochin the Younger was born on February 22, 1715 in Paris. He is regarded as one of the most influential people of the French art scene in the 18th century as an artist, member of the Parisian Academy’s board of directors, and especially as an art critic. His art criticism publications on the topic of "imitating nature" were decisive in the discussion related to the definition of art term in France at the threshold from rococo to classicism.
Charles-Nicolas Cochin came from a famous French family of artists: his father was the well-known engraver and etcher Charles-Nicolas the Elder, his grandfather was the painter Charles Cochin. He began his artistic training in his father’s workshop. Starting in 1730, he received drawing lessons from J. Restout and learned the copper-engraving skills from J.P. LeBas. Following his first artistic success, he began working on his own in 1735.
In 1739, Charles-Nicolas Cochin was promoted to a position in the Menue Plaisirs, a state authority at the court of Louis XV that was responsible for the implementation, decoration, and documentation of the court’s festivals.
Cochin chronicled these events with copper engraving, partially in collaboration with his father. He became a member of the "Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture" in 1741. In 1745, he created his most outstanding works - "Bal paré dans la Petite Écurie" and "Masked Ball" – for the marriage of the heir to the throne. In the same year, Madame de Pompadour began drawing lessons with him and enabled him to undertake a study tour in Italy from 1749-51.
Charles-Nicolas Cochin captured the impressions of his time in Italy in the work that appeared in 1754, "Observation sur les antiquités d`Herculaneum", as well as in the "Voyage d`Italie" (1758), a three-volume monograph on Italian sculpture and painting. Cochin not only gained great esteem in the Parisian art scene, at the Academy, and nationally as an artist, but also through his writings on art criticism. In 1757, Cochin was ennobled. In 1776, he was granted the office of a "Conseiller", an advisor of the Academy.
Charles-Nicolas the Younger died on April 29, 1790 in Paris.