Public Lectures

Sensuality and the subterranean: Jean-Jacques Lequeu’s Maison gothique (1777-1814) during the late Enlightenment

Maison gothique (1777-1814)

Jean Jacques Lequeu. 1777-1814. Section perpendicular to an underground gothic house, Pen, wash, watercolor, 22.3 x 14 in.

Dr Jennifer Ferng
Monday 13 October 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law School Foyer
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

As one of the French utopian designers of the late Enlightenment, Lequeu is regarded by many architectural historians as having an enigmatic inventory of unbuilt work. He envisioned Grecian-Egyptian temples, Masonic grottoes, and neoclassical tombs and civic monuments. Enhanced by his training as a draughtsman, his studies of human anatomy verged on the edge of explicit prurience. This lecture surveys some of his fanciful imagery in relation to the intellectual discourses surrounding the subterranean, focusing on how myth and occult knowledge came to define his ideas of architecture and the body.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.

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Dr Jennifer Ferng is Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Sydney. She received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves as co-editor of Architectural Theory Review. Her research examines eighteenth-century European architecture and art in the context of the geological sciences.