Born in Auxerre in 1743. Trained in Paris under the architecture painter François Blondel; studied at the Académie d'Architecture. Awarded the Rome Prize in 1776 and travelled to Italy. While in Rome in 1784, he met King Gustav III of Sweden, and was appointed first architect to the king in Stockholm and made a member of the Swedish Academy. He worked there as an architect, sculptor, and stage designer until the king's death in 1792. Desprez died in Stockholm in 1804.