Humbert de Superville, the son of a portrait painter, was awarded a gold medal when aged eighteen. The year after he left for Italy, and resided in Rome for close to eleven years. There he became the assistant of the English artist William Young Ottley and took part the Accademia dei Pensieri of Felice Giani. He gained his nickname 'Giottino', which he added to his name, because of his very linear style. Expelled from Rome because of his support to the French he returned to the Netherland via Paris, and settled in Rotterdam, and in 1812 in Leiden. In 1825 he became the director of the Pleister en Prentenkabinet of Leiden. He also published a play and in 1827-32 a book called Essai sur les signes inconditionnels dans l'art.
A number of his drawings are in the Accademia in Venice (A. Perissa Torrini, Disegni di Humbert de Superville, Milano, 1991) but his drawings are rare on the market.