MIQUE, Richard
(b. 1728, Nancy, d. 1794, Paris)

Biography

French architect. He was the favourite architect of Marie-Antoinette and he is most remembered for his picturesque hamlet, the Hameau de la Reine, built for Marie Antoinette in the Petit Trianon gardens within the estate of Palace of Versailles.

His father and grandfather were architects and following their example, he became an architect in the service of duke Stanislas Leszczyñski, ex-king of Poland and father of Maria Leszczyñska, the consort of King Louis XV of France. Following the death of Héré de Corny, Mique participated as premier architecte in Stanislas' grand plans for reordering and embellishing Nancy, his capital as Duke of Lorraine.

His official career in France was initially stymied by the influence of Ange-Jacques Gabriel, premier architecte. His main clients were a series of royal ladies. For Maria Leszczyñska, he built a convent, prominently sited in the town of Versailles, on lands at the edge of the park belonging formerly to Madame de Montespan's Château de Clagny, of which eleven hectares were consigned to the queen by her husband, Louis XV. At the queen's death, her daughter Madame Adélaide completed the project.

Mique must have gained the confidence of the dauphin and the dauphine for, upon the accession of the dauphin as Louis XVI in 1774, he was appointed intendant et contrôleur général des bâtiments du Roi; he succeeded Gabriel as premier architecte to Louis XVI the following year, thus overseeing the last works carried out at Versailles before the French Revolution. He purchased a seigneurie in Lorraine, which completed his transformation to courtier-architect.

He laid out the queen's garden at the Petit Trianon from 1774 to 1785. Mique was also responsible for the Hameau de la Reine, a mock farming village built around an artificial lake at the northeastern corner of the estate.

During the Revolution, he was arrested along with his son as participants in a conspiracy to save the life of Marie Antoinette, whose favourite architect he had been. He was brought before a revolutionary tribunal and, after a summary trial on 7 July 1794, both father and son were condemned to death and executed the following day.