After dropping out of medical school in Freiburg im Breisgau, Otto Nückel moved to Munich to professionally develop his talent for drawing, which he developed early on. He lived in Munich until shortly before his death. He was a member of the Munich Secession Artists’ Association. His entire work is dominated by bizarre and profound irony, which goes to biting sarcasm. The influence of the anatomy courses of his student days in Freiburg is noticeable. He was one of the first to work with the medium of lead cut and developed this art form to the highest level. He caused a sensation primarily through his book ‘Schicksal. Eine Geschichte in Bildern’ (Delphin Verlag, Munich, 1930. American first edition: ‘Destiny. A novel in pictures’. Farrar & Rinehart, New York 1930. ). Here, a path of women’s life and suffering is told as a dark, socially critical study only in lead cuts, without any text.
Nückel’s series of studio visits from Bosch to Ensor became famous. Nückel made his living as an illustrator and cartoonist. He contributed to the satirical magazines ‘Simplicissimus’ and ‘Der Simpl’, the weekly ‘Jugend’ and the children’s magazine ‘Ping-Pong’.
Nückel died at the age of 67 in Cologne.