The Provenance of the Gandhāran "Trojan Horse" Relief in the British Museum


Among the most famous Gandhāran sculptures is a relief in the British Museum that represents the story of the Trojan Horse, probably reinvented as a Buddhist narrative. Several contradictory provenances have been recorded for the relief, while its supposed association with Mardān or Chārsadda has become embedded in scholarly literature. Reconsideration of the evidence, including archival sources, establishes the correct origin, at a well near Hund on the Indus. Despite a general lack of evidence for the provenance of Gandhāran sculptures, information of this kind is precious for any attempt to contextualize sculptures such as the "Trojan Horse" relief.

Nouvelle mise en perspective d'un corpus de peintures awadhi occidentalisantes


Between 1760 and 1795, the Oudh grows rapidly as it takes advantage of the Mughals' weakening, and appeals to many business men from both the Mughal aristocracy and the European military corps. Steeped in art, classical culture and a taste for curio, this elite contributes to the blossoming of a rich and diverse pictural style, affected by multiple influences.
With this study, our wish is to put a group of paintings in perspective. We believe they were executed in Oudh at that time for a few art patrons with a taste for European-inspired iconography. Scattered today in different collections, those paintings had never been brought together, although they present a consistency of themes and styles that argue for a commun time and place of production. Those works also offer an original colour scheme consisting in painting the main subject in bright colour on a black background.
This new presentation gives the opportunity to compare paintings and models, to assess the artists' iconographic licence and to explore the question of time of production.

Prajñāpāramitā dans le bouddhisme du Cambodge ancien


Up to now, researchers have paid little attention to Prajñāpāramitā, the only female representation of Buddhism in Angkorian Cambodia. She remains discreet, and often in the shadow of Avalokiteśvara, insofar as the worship of the goddess has never known the same devotion that in India. However, while in India the name is primarily linked to the sacred eponymous texts revered by adherents of Mahāyāna, in Cambodia, it mostly refers to the deity. In the 10th century, she appears, both in sculpture and in inscriptions, but it is only during the reign of Jayavarman VII, in the late 12th century, that she reached the status of a main deity. According to the evolution related to Mahāyāna's expansion during Angkorian time, images of Prajñāpāramitā are varying, from the 12th century, giving rise to new iconographic types unknown in India. This study, that affords an unpublished presentation of Prajñāpāramitā, in its artistic and religious aspects, also sheds light on the fundamental primacy given to means to attain enlightenment of which she embodies transcendental and supreme path within doctrinal trends of Mahāyāna Buddhism in ancient Cambodia.

Une ville jurchen au temps des Ming (XIVe-XVIIe siècle) : Huifacheng, un carrefour économique et culturel


The Huifacheng Site has been occupied by the Haixi Jurchen between the 14th and the beginning of the 17th century AD. The archaeological research on this city reveals the way of life of the Jurchen people in the South of the Jilin province during the Ming Dynasty. Living in houses which architectural features and everyday life implements come from local traditions, the inhabitants lived on agriculture, hunting and fishing. The analysis of the building methods and repairing -techniques of the fortifications sheds light on the military function of this city, which held a strategic geographical location. The study of the unearthed artifacts shows cultural influences brought by the Jurchen from South-East Russia and the persistence of shamanic practices. Finally, the discovery of porcelains imported from the Ming Empire shows that this site was integrated into the commercial networks of the Empire, and that the Huifa people were linked to the inhabitants of the Fuyu region, which is the other place of discovery of Jingdezhen porcelains in North-East China.

The Image of the Deceased in Koguryŏ Funerary Art (4th-5th Centuries AD): A Comparison between the Ji'an (China) and Pyongyang (Korea) Regions


This paper examines the image of the deceased in Koguryŏ tomb mural art in the two Koguryŏ core areas: the Ji'an region in northeast China and the vicinity of Pyongyang in North Korea. Although tombs in both regions feature a similar imagery, its location within the stone chamber, its association with other pictorial elements, as well as the pictorial style are regionally distinctive. Based on a corpus of twenty-seven painted tombs containing the image of the deceased or partial evidence of it, this study shows that funerary portraiture in tombs of the Pyongyang region connects the tombs' occupant to their official class, as revealed by the use of the official paraphernalia signifying prestige and power (i.e. curtained canopy, screen and cap). These elements are not found in the tombs of the Ji'an region. It is also significant that procession scenes, which are closely associated with the image of the deceased, appear only in tombs of the Pyongyang area.

International Workshop on Chinese Local History and Local Society, 14th and 15th December
Paris, France,

Thursday, December 14 and Friday, December 15, Michela Bussotti (EFEO) and Joseph McDermott (University of Cambridge) organize an international workshop on the study of society and local history that finalize the project FOES (Families, Organizations and Economies: inside and beyond local history in China, XV-XX century - projet exploratoire PSL) thanks to the support of PSL, EFEO and CECMC (UMR CCJ).

Programme (PDF)

Maison de l'Asie, 1st floor Salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson - 75116 Paris

Contact: Michela Bussotti
Release of the photographic collection of Pierre Pichard

999 photographs by the architect Pierre Pichard, former member of the EFEO, are now on line on the photo library website. These pictures were taken between 1987 and 2004 during missions in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand and South Korea.
Paris EFEO Seminar

On Monday 13th November Ryosuke Furui (Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo) is speaking on "Changing Structure of Political Powers in South Asia: Bengal from the Fifth to the Thirteenth Century"

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Free admission)
Maison de l'Asie, First floor salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
Symposium ''Gestion des eaux d'Angkor: Bilan des études et perspectives''

On Friday 10th November the Association des Amis d'Angkor (AAA) organized the symposium Gestion des eaux d'Angkor: Bilan des études et perspectives
Maric Beaufeïst speaks on" The restoration of western Mébon and the utilisation of new technologies"

"SETEC" Auditorium, building Central Seine, 46, quai de la Rapée, 75012 Paris
Paris EFEO Seminar

On Monday 6th November Yoon Hyong-jin (Asiatic Research Institue, Korea University) is speaking on "Community Organizations in the Colonial East Asia and its legacy: Focused on 'Baojia'".

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Free admission)
Maison de l'Asie, First floor salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris