(b Lorient, Nov 21, 1865; d Paris, Oct 30, 1952).
French art historian and archaeologist. He qualified with an arts degree in 1888 and began postgraduate Sanskrit and Indian studies in 1891 at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne University. His primary interest was in Buddhist legend and tradition, and the relationship between India and the Western Classical world. In 1895, after obtaining his doctorate and a lectureship at the university, he spent two years on a scientific mission in India, visiting museums and sites, taking photographs and collecting manuscripts, coins and sculpture. The information he gathered on the art and sites of Gandhara during this survey was presented as his doctorat ès lettres thesis in 1905.
In 1898 he helped to establish a permanent archaeological mission, the Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient. While stationed in Saigon as the mission’s director (1904–7), he organized an archaeological expedition to Java. In May 1907 he was given charge of Indian language and literature at the Sorbonne. Later in that year he was appointed assistant director, and in ...