Marie-Anne Collot thoroughly understood art, once a model which inspired portraitists and then becoming a renowned sculptor herself who captured the expressive personas of her subjects. Born in Paris in 1748, Collot was the daughter-in-law of sculptor Etienne Falconet, through whom she would meet the philosopher Diderot and Catherine the Great. The Empress requested a bust of herself, as well as one of Falconet, and Diderot. Her bust of Diderot so captivated Falconet that he destroyed the bust he sculpted himself.
The art of hers that was not lost or is in a private collection is displayed at museums such as the Louvre in Paris, the State Hermitage Museum in S. Petersburg.