Alexandre Jean Noel

Artist: Noel, Alexandre Jean

Alexandre Jean Noel, (1752 – 1834) is a French painter and grandfather of the painter Alexis Nicolas Noel.

A pupil of Joseph Vernet, Alexandre Jean Noel produced gouaches and watercolors of seascapes and landscapes in the mind of his master. In 1769 he accompanied astronomer Jean Chappe d’Auteroche on his scientific expedition to Baja California to observe the transit of Venus in front of the Sun’s, which he illustrated with a series of drawings depicting their journey.

On the scientific expedition Alexandre Jean Noel and the other Europeans found the native Indians’ food “impossible, especially for a Frenchman.” Only sixteen, Noel served as the expedition’s draftsman, documenting natives, lizards, and the mission in San Jose del Cabo in watercolor views. Some time after his return, the secretary of the Academie Royale recommended purchasing Noel’s Mexican drawings for the royal collection. The purchase was approved, and Noël’s drawings of “all that is curious in costume, drawn on the spot and with truth by an artist who has some talent” are now in the Musee du Louvre.

Affected like the scientist from yellow fever, he escaped unlike the latter.

Alexandre Noel painted in the following places in Normandy (a link “” to his works will appear below when published):

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