During his lifetime, Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was the most venerated composer of his generation. Even Mozart regarded him as his spiritual father, and Beethoven, who for a time was one of his students, was fundamentally inspired by his palpably intelligent compositional science. An orderly and settled man who led a less than storybook life, he was nonetheless able to build a rich, varied, and personal body of work which was rightly acclaimed in all the corners of Europe. Aimed at a wider French-speaking public, this short biography endeavours to present Haydn from the perspective of his unique artistic and intellectual approach whilst not ignoring the general historic and stylistic context which enabled him to flourish. It also pays tribute to a man who was one of the most influential composers in the history of Western music.