Revolutionary Ambitions

The French Revolution heralded commissions for patriotic monuments commemorating the newly established republic. In 1794, Lequeu submitted five designs to competitions for major civic projects. Although some of his proposals were publicly exhibited, none were selected to be built.

Lequeu embraced revolutionary iconography and became a member of the National Guard and the Popular and Republican Society of the Arts, a patriotic assembly that espoused the ideology of the Reign of Terror. His precise political beliefs, however, are difficult to discern. Lequeu’s designs for projects celebrating revolutionary ideals are rich in detail but also humorous and occasionally ironic.