Louis Carrogis, (Carmontelle), the son of a Parisian master shoemaker, was a self-taught artist. He worked as a topographical draughtsman during the Seven Year's War (1756 - 63) and was then appointed tutor to the son of the Duke of Orleans. He entertained the guests at ducal gatherings with his crayon portraits drawn on the spot, recording over 750 courtiers and visitors. Carmontelle kept most of the drawings, which provide an insight into the personalities of court life on the eve of the French revolution. Multi-talented, Carmontelle also wrote plays, organised a literary salon and designed the Jardin de Monceau in Paris.