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Jean-Jacques Lequeu

(1757—1826)


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(1757–1826). French visionary Neo-Classicist, he is known for the extraordinary drawings that survive in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. These include a weird ‘Gothic House’ that has nothing Gothic about it, but is in fact a design for a route for Freemasonic trials by Fire, Water, Earth, and Air, clearly derived from descriptions in the Abbé Jean Terrasson's (1670–1750) prolix novel Séthos (1731) which were also the sources for the text of Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute, the 1791 Singspiel by Mozart, Giesecke, and Schikaneder). Other designs include Egyptianizing temples, fabriques, spherical buildings, phallic erections, and even a dairy in the shape of a gigantic cow. His grotesque and obscene drawings (figures lascives) suggest that he was at least very odd. None of his buildings survives, but he built a country-house known as the Temple of Silence (1786), actually a Roman temple with engaged columns along the side, but embellished with dogs, turtles, owls and much else. Inside was what appears to have been a Freemasonic Lodge.

From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Architecture.


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