MASSON, François
(b. 1745, Lyre, d. 1807, Paris)

Monument to Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Musée d'Orsay, Paris

A popular figure during the period of the Directory (the French Revolutionary government) was François Masson, an artist who emulated Houdon's portrait style, but was more up to date in his handling of classical subjects. From 1793 onwards he was in Paris, where he had considerable success at the Salon, where he exhibited small mythological pieces. This led to him receiving a number of major commissions, among them, in 1799, a monument to Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) is one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth-century Europe.