NICOLAY, Nicolas de
Nicolas de Nicolay left his native France at the age of 25 and for sixteen years travelled in Germany, Denmark, Prussia, Sweden, England, Scotland and Spain. After journeying throughout Western Europe he became official geographer to the royal court. In 1551 he visited Constantinople as a member of the entourage of G. D’Aramon, ambassador of King Henry II of France to the “Great Turk”, Suleiman the Magnificent. The sixty drawings depicting Oriental costumes (probably done by Nicolay himself) remain an invaluable source of information on people in the sixteenth-century Ottoman Empire. The first edition, with copperplate engravings by Louis Danet, was printed in Lyon in 1568. A number of reprints and translations into other European languages followed, up to the seventeenth century. Nicolay's drawings were copied exactly or with variations and circulated widely during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and until the end of the eighteenth century. The Italian edition of 1580 faithfully reproduces the drawings and engraving of the first edition of 1568.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou