Gaspard Monge, Founder of the School (1746-1818)

When he created École Polytechnique with the help of Guyton, Fourcroy and Lamblardie, Gaspard Monge was already renowned for his scientific prowess. This inventor of descriptive geometry was also a member of the French Academy of Sciences and former Minister of the Navy in the French National Convention. He took on the role of Director of l’X at the request of his friend Napoleon Bonaparte, who would later take him to Egypt. Monge, who began his career at the age of 18 as a simple employee at the School of Engineering in Mézières (as the rank of officer was reserved for the aristocracy and he had not yet been given the title of Count of Pelusium), ended up becoming a senator of the Empire. During the Restoration after Napoleon’s downfall, Monge was discharged from l’X, where he had still been teaching geometry. He died in 1818, in sickness and isolation.