The fabulist Jean de la Fontaine (1621-95) has his statue in the Ranelagh Gardens (see previous post). The present statue from 1984 replaces a statue from 1891 which among many others disappeared during WWII - the metal was by the occupants required for other use. (The stand is the original one.)
The present statue refers more particularly to the fable “The Fox and the Crow” and we can see that the fox and the crow were represented already on the previous statue.
The fable which of course serves as a warning against listening to flattery was published in 1668 in an illustrated version in the first of 12 volumes of fables. Jean de la Fontaine made no secret of the fact that he often based his fables on existing ones. This fable is already attributed to the Greek fabulist Aesop (620-564 BC) and exists also in other cultures, e.g. in India.
Here you can read La Fontaine’s fable in its French and a translated English version.
La Fontaine is buried, close to his friend Molière, at the Père Lachaise cemetery (see previous post). (Their remains were brought there in 1817 in order to attract the interest for the cemetery, then newly opened and by people considered to be too far from the city centre.)