Self-portrait (Jean-Jacques Lequeu Reflecting)

In the 1822 catalogue he prepared for the sale of his drawings, Lequeu described himself as “reflecting” in this self-portrait. Seated in a niche, he pauses in his studies. He is surrounded by his accomplishments, including the new map of Paris upon which he rests his arm. The inscription identifies him as an architect of the Rouen Academy, but the elements surrounding him deviate significantly from academic tradition and indicate his personal style as a designer. The pilasters contain fluted diamond-shaped panels that match his signet ring, while the keystone above him is adorned with a beaver, a natural builder.

Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826)
Self-Portrait (Jean-Jacques Lequeu Reflecting), 1792
Pen and black and brown ink, brown and gray wash
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie