François Masson is one of the most important French sculptors of the last third of the 18th century and the early years of the following century. He trained in Paris, in the workshop of Guillaume Coustou, and then travelled to Rome where he completed his training, staying until 1775. Upon returning to France, one of his patrons, the maréchal de Broglie, entrusted him with the decoration of the Palais du Gouvernement in Metz. Back in Paris six years later, he sculpted the busts of several influential people, took part in the construction of the Pantheon, and regularly exhibited at the Parisian salons. Around 1800, he was named “Sculpteur du Conseil des Anciens”; during the Empire he received the Legion of Honour. He died in Paris on December 18, 1807; his final creations were shown posthumously, in 1808 and 1810.