Draughtsman, copperplate engraver, commercial artist, watercolourist, marine artist, painter, etcher, engineer and historian
As the son of a family of draughtsmen and graphic artists specialising in sea and marine pieces, N.-M. Ozanne was first a ship's engineer and drafting teacher at the naval school in Brest. After 1751 he lived in Paris, to which he had been summoned to design a series of prints commemorating the visit by Louis XV to Le Havre. As a member of the Naval Academy (since 1752), in addition to his public assignments - harbour and ship construction - Ozanne continued his artistic training in the ateliers of J. Vernet and Boucher. In 1757 he was named Royal Naval Draughtsman, and instructed the three princes (the later Louis XVI and his two brothers) in shipbuilding and navigation. His drawings, the greater part of which are in the Louvre and in Paris's Naval Ministry, have frequently been identified as preparatory to prints of a documentary and didactic nature, which explains their precision and a certain dryness. The best-known series are the sixty views of France's harbours, an assignment corresponding to the paintings by J. Vernet, and sixteen views of France and its colonies produced at the king's behest between 1775 and 1787.