John Paul Jones, the most celebrated naval hero of the American Revolution, was born in Dumfriesshire. In 1775 he was commissioned a lieutenant in the fledgling American navy. While visiting Paris in 1778 for the signing of the Franco-American treaty Jones stayed with Benjamin Franklin and became a member of the masonic ‘Loge des Neuf Soeurs’. It was this lodge that commissioned Houdon in 1780 to sculpt his marble bust (exhibited at the Salon the following year) after Jones’s victories over the British navy made him a celebrity. Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) is generally considered to have been the greatest sculptor in Europe during the Enlightenment.