14 September 1757 Jean-Jacques Lequeu is born in Rouen, the son of a master carpenter.
1770–73 He studies at the Rouen Public School of Design. In 1772, his studies after sculptures are awarded first prize in a drawing competition.
1778 He receives first prize in architecture from the Rouen Academy and designs a monument to the glory of Louis XVI.
1779 Lequeu moves to Paris. He becomes a draftsman for Jacques Germain Soufflot (1713–1780), the leading neoclassical architect in Paris. After Soufflot dies the following year, Lequeu continues his work with Soufflot’s nephew François Soufflot (1750–1801).
1786 Lequeu is made an associate member of the Rouen Academy. He works as a draftsman and inspector for François Soufflot and oversees the construction of the Hôtel de Montholon in Paris.
1789 The French Revolution begins. The First Republic lasts from 1792 to 1794, the Directory from 1795 to 1799, and the Consulate from 1799 to 1804. In 1804, Napoleon is crowned emperor. The empire lasts until 1814.
1790–93 Lequeu becomes head of a public studio in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine area, near Paris. In 1791, he designs an amphitheater for the Festival of the Federation, celebrating the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.
1792–1815 The French Revolutionary Wars begin in 1792, continuing through the decade. After Napoleon’s ascension to power in 1799, the conflicts continue as the Napoleonic Wars. During this period, Lequeu is employed as a draftsman in the land registry offices.
1794 Lequeu submits five projects to the design competitions organized in year II of the republican calendar. On 23 October 1794, he is elected a member of the Popular and Republican Society of the Arts.
1795–96 Lequeu works as a draftsman at the École polytechnique. At the land registry offices, he is qualified as a “very skilled draftsman” by his superiors.
1797 He is made head draftsman for the Commission of Public Works, “responsible for producing the tracings and copies of maps requested by the government.”
1802 Lequeu submits a proposal for a monument celebrating the Treaty of Amiens that is exhibited in the Gallery of Apollo in the Louvre. He writes a manual on how to wash laundry.
1808 He exhibits the painting Exterior View of a Chapel of the Gothic Palace of the Grand Andeli at the Salon, the official exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. It would be his only work accepted by the Salon until 1814.
1814–30 The monarchy is restored in France and continues, with the exception of Napoleon’s Hundred Days in 1815, until 1830.
1815 In September, Lequeu is forced into retirement with an annual pension of 668 francs.
1817 Lequeu decides to sell 93 drawings—architectural works, maps, and a self-portrait—but he cannot find a buyer.
1822 He publishes another advertisement for the sale of his drawings, to little response.
1825 He donates 823 drawings to the Royal Library, as well as collected press cuttings, letters, and autobiographical notes.
28 March 1826 Lequeu dies at one in the morning in his small two-room apartment at 33, rue Saint-Sauveur in Paris’s 2nd arrondissement.