Lequeu: An Architectural Enigma

Duboy, Philippe; Robin Middleton

Published by The MIT Press, 1986
ISBN 10: 0262040867 / ISBN 13: 9780262040860
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Rust orange cloth. A few pages are dogeared at tips but the book is otherwise as new, clean and very sharp, with a tight binding and clean pages. Dust jacket has a hint of wear at tips of corners. otherwise as new and now protected in a clear mylar cover. Overseas shipping would be prohibitive. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: "Jean-Jacques Lequeu does in fact hide behind the most enigmatic and controversial smile in the history of art," writes Philippe Duboy in a book that is one of the most tantalizing examples of architectural investigation ever produced.

It is an extraordinary compilation - part speculative biography, part meticulous research, with hundreds of intriguing drawings, many in color - that unravels the mystery of this eighteenth-century maverick artist whose drawings have established him variously as a visionary architect associated with Boullée and Ledoux, forerunner of surrealism, and inventor of bad taste.

Lequeu's architectural drawings from the legendary portfolios Architecture civile and Nouvelle methode are presented here in their entirety, along with his "Lewd Figures," perhaps the oddest feature of the whole collection. The drawings are accompanied by long captions, misspelt and ungrammatical, but written in a flawless bureaucratic hand. The artist's marginalia provide insights into his visions, which seem dominated by an obsession with petrified forms and a recurring preoccupation with sex. Interleaved with the drawings are curious autobiographical papers. And it is here that Duboy's investigation of Lequeu begins to reveal strange clues.

He discovers that Lequeu was not an architect at all but a government bureaucrat, a draftsman who ended up living in a brothel. Between the brothel and the obscure office from which he was eventually fired, he produced his "encyclopedia of the universe" - bizarre portraits of nuns baring their breasts and other lewd figures, and architectural fantasies of vast imaginary cities.

Duboy takes his study further, into the realm of Charles Fourier and his brother-in-law Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and from there to the world of the dadaists, surrealists, and futurists, particularly the circles of Marcel Duchamp and Le Corbusier. He suggests that Duchamp and Raymond Rousell tampered with the Lequeu drawings to concoct a character and oeuvre even more puzzling. There are glimpses of Duchamp's convolutions of mind that will stir a reassessment of his work. "Duchamp emerges here, for the first time, as an intrepid and unwavering despiser of Le Corbusier. Twentieth-century reputations are as much at stake in this study as those of the eighteenth-century artist," notes Robin Middleton.

Philippe Duboy is Professor of the History of Cities, Paris-Belleville School of Architecture.

Language Notes: Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Lequeu: An Architectural Enigma
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: 1986
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Near Fine

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Duboy, Philippe
Published by The MIT Press 1986-11-29 (1986)
ISBN 10: 0262040867 ISBN 13: 9780262040860
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Book Description The MIT Press 1986-11-29, 1986. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Books is in good condition. Some moderate creases and wear. This item may not come with CDs or additional parts and might be an ex-library copy. Seller Inventory # DS-0262040867-3

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Book Description The MIT Press, Cambridge, 1987. Hard Cover. Condition: Near Fine Plus. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine Plus. First American Edition. cloth, hard cover in dust jacket. large, heavy book., no flaws or wear, a very well preserved copy. clean, no writing or markings, no tears, clips, bumps. strong binding.; english text, translated from french original.; 367pp., illustrated throughout in color, b/w. comprehensive study of jean-jacques lequeu, 18th century architect and artist. foreword by bernard middleton. Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall. Seller Inventory # 16290

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Book Description The MIT Press, Cambridge,MA, 1986. Hard Cover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. This is a fine hardcover copy in a near fine dust jacket with almost no wear. Completely clean inside and out. Jean-Jacques Lequeu was certainly one of the most enigmatic of the 18th Century French Architects, because he was never a practicing architect. He mainly produced unusual drawings which were published as the 'Architecture Civile' and the 'Nouvelle Methode'. For the most part Lequeu's drawings were not seen in his day. In fact he gave his collection of drawings to the Bibliotheque Nationale and then vanished sometime in the 1820's. The Bibliotheque promptly locked them away out of view. Illustrated in color and black & white. 13" high X 10" wide, 367 pages. Large heavy book, foreign shipping will be extra. This book will be securely wrapped and packed in a sturdy box and shipped with tracking. Seller Inventory # 014541

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Book Description MIT, Cambridge, 1987. Hardcover. Condition: Near fine. Dust Jacket Condition: very good. 1st. Bound in the publisher's original cloth over boards, spine stamped in gilt. Light rubbing to edges and extremities of dust jacket. Profusely illustrated throughout with plates and figures in black & white and color. Seller Inventory # 9021588

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Book Description MIT Press, Cambridge, 1987. hardcover. Condition: fine. Dust Jacket Condition: fine. First. Foreword by Robin Middleton. Profusely illustrated with fantastic plates, a few in color. 367 pages, thick 4to, rust cloth, d.w. Cambridge: MIT Press, (1987). First American edition. A fine copy in a fine dust wrapper. Seller Inventory # 249138

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Book Description The MIT Press, Bx-160, 227, 1986. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. 4to. MIT Press. 1986. 367 pgs. Hundreds of illustrations in color and in b&w. DJ in excellent shape, unclipped and with no tears present. No ownership marks present. Text is clean and free of marks, binding tight and solid, boards clean with no wear present. Photos sent upon request. Bx-160, 227; 4to 11" - 13" tall; 367 pages. Seller Inventory # 42011

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Book Description The MIT Press, 1986. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 1st MIT Press ed. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0262040867

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