Jean de La Fontaine was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists
across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France and in French regional languages.
After a long period of royal suspicion, he was admitted to the French Academy and his reputation in France has never faded since. Evidence of this is found in the many pictures and statues of the writer, as well as later depictions on medals, coins and postage stamps.