Indian Pagoda of Intelligence, from Civil Architecture

Lequeu combined disparate traditions in this design of a pagoda crowned with a minaret. The exterior was to be coated in a mixture of lime, sugar, and milk and then polished to create a glittering effect. While the design reflects Lequeu’s idea of Indian Mughal architecture and reveals his curiosity about other cultures, the language used to describe the building is indebted to classical theory.

At the top of the sheet, the artist included three tomb designs. The tomb at right bears a mysterious epitaph: “There she rests among two rival lovers, separated.”

Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826)
Indian Pagoda of Intelligence, from Civil Architecture, ca. 1815–20
Pen and black ink, brown wash, watercolor
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie