FOUCHER, Alfred Charles Auguste. Lorient (Morbihan, Bretagne) 21.11.1865 — Sceaux (Hauts-de-Seine) 30.10.1952. French Indologist, Art Historian and Archaeologist. Professor in Paris. Son of a teacher of literature, lost his mother at birth. Educated in Morlaix and Rennes. In 1881 came to Paris, now studies at Lycée Henri IV, then from 1885 at École normale superieure. In 1888 graduated as teacher (agrégé), in 1888-89 worked as teacher in Vendôme, in 1889-91 in Chartres. First became interested in connections between India and Graeco-Roman antiquity, soon also in Indian languages and archaeology. With a scholarship of the city of Paris studied in 1891-94 Indology under Lévi at É.P.H.É. (diplome 1895). From November 1895 to October 1897 in India, now became interested in archaeology. Ph.D. 1905.

From 1895 Foucher taught as maître de conférences d’histoire des religions de l’Inde at É.P.H.É., 5th section. In 1901-02 and 1905-07 director of É.F.E.O. in Hanoi, returning from there visited Java (Boro-Budur). From 1906 taught at Sorbonne (1906-07 chargé de cours complémentaire, then chargé de cours). From 1907 directeur d’études adjoint and from 1914 directeur d’études at É.P.H.É. In 1915-16 visiting Professor at Columbia University; in 1918-21 in India as collaborating with A.S.I. From 1919 Professeur adjoint of Indian languages and literatures at Sorbonne (Faculté des lettres, succeeding V. Henry), but had no time to teach. In 1919 visited India. After visiting Iran in 1922 came to Afghanistan and started D.A.F.A., which he directed there in 1922-25. In 1926 director of Maison Franco-japonaise in Tokyo. Only after this he started his teaching at Sorbonne, where he became full Professor in 1929. In 1928 succeeded Senart as member of A.I.B.L. and director of Inst. Civ. Ind. Retired in 1936 (succeeded at Sorbonne by Renou, at É.P.H.É. by Mus). Hon. Dr. 1950 Louvain.

In 1919 he married in Sri Lanka —> E. Bazin-Foucher, who became his indispensable helper in all scholarly work. A few months before his death Foucher became widower. At the time of his death blind. Although he also did important philological work he is mainly remembered as the famous pioneer of the critical study of the Buddhist Gandhāra art and as the founder of the archaeology of Afghanistan, although the results of his excavations at Bactra (Balkh) remained meagre. Among his students was Ry. Sakaki.

Publications: “Le Buddhāvatāra de Kṣemendra”, JA 8:20, 1892, 167-175.

– “L’art bouddhique dans l’Inde”, RHR 30, 1894, 319-371.

– “Rapport sur une mission d’études archéologiques et religieuses dans l’Inde”, Nouvelles archives des Missions scientifiques et littéraires 9, 1898, 521-558.

Étude sur l’iconographie bouddhique de l’Inde. 1-2. Bibl. d’É.P.H.É. P. 1900-05 (on manuscript illustrations and iconographical texts, accepted as diss.).

L’art gréco-bouddhique du Gandhāra. 1-2:1-3. Paris 1900-05-18-51.

– “Notes sur la géographie ancienne du Gandhara (commentaire à un chapitre de Hiuen-Tsang)”, BEFEO 1, 1901, 322-369; English translation by H. Hargreaves: Notes on the Ancient Geography of Gandhara. 39 p. Calcutta 1915.

– “Noted d’archéologie bouddhique”, BEFEO 9, 1909, 1-50 (on Boro-Budur).

– “L’origine grecque de l’image du Bouddha”, Conf. du Musée Guimet. 1913, 42 p.; “Les représentations de Jâtaka dans l’art bouddhique”, Mém. conc. l’Asie Orientale 3, P. 1919, c. 47 p.; “Lettre d’Ajaṇṭā”, JA 11:17, 1921, 201-245.

The beginnings of Buddhist art and other essays in Indian and Central Asian Archaeology. Rev. by the author & transl. by L. A. Thomas & F. W. Thomas. 316 p. 50 pl. L. 1917.

– “La délégation archéologique française en Afghanistan (octobre 1922 – novembre 1925)”, CRAI 1927, 117-123.

– “De Kāpiśī à Pushkarāvatī”, BSOS 6:2 (Rapson-Vol.), 1931, 341-348; “Les satrapies orientales de l’empire Achéménide”, CRAI 1938, 336-352; “Le lieu de naissance du roi indo-grec Ménandre”, CRAI 1941, 541-557; “Le cheval de Troie au Gandhâra”, CRAI 1950, 407-412; “À propos de la conversion au bouddhisme du roi indo-grec Ménandre”, MAIBL 43:2, 1951, 259-295.

With J. Marshall: The Monuments of Sānchī. 1-3. Delhi 1939.

With E. Bazin-Foucher: La vieille Route de l’Inde de Bactres à Taxila. 1-2. M.D.A.F.A. 1:1-2. Paris 1942-57.

Edited and translated: Éléments de logique et de systematique indiennes. 23+184 p. P. 1949 (Tarkasaṁgraha of Annambhaṭṭa).

La vie du Bouddha d’après les textes et les monuments de l’Inde. 383 p. P. 1949.

Les Vies antérieures du Buddha d’après les textes et les monuments de l’Inde. 378 p. 47 ill. P.M.G. 61. P. 1955.

– Further articles and reviews in BEFEO, CRAI, JA, RHR, etc.

Sources: *J. Auboyer, AL 28, 1954, 63-65); *P. Bernard, “La mission d’A. F. en Afghanistan”, CRAI 151, 2007, 1797-1845; F. de Blois, Encyclop. Iranica 10, 2000, 118f. (online); *O. Bopearachchi, “A.F. et les études numismatiques en Afghanistan”, CRAI 151, 2007, 1875-1897; Charle, Les professeurs de la Faculté des lettres. 2. 197?; *P. Demiéville, TP 42:5, 1954, 406-411; *P. Dupont, Annuaire, E.P.H.E. 1953-54, 15-19; *R. Fazy, As.St./É 7, 1953, 81-98 (with descriptive bibliography); J. Filliozat, JA 1952, 389-393; H.-P. Francfort, “Le tombeau de Foucher”, Arts as. 65, 2010, 159-166 with photo; *O. Lacombe, Annuaire de l’É.P.H.É. 61, 1952, 13-23; A. Merlin, CRAI 1954, 457-466; *Ch. Picard, Arts as. 15, 1952, 348-351; L. Renou, Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé 1953:3, 13-15; P. Singaravélou, D.O.L.F. 399; Chercheurs d’Asie 29-31 (now also online version with photo); Wikipedia (more in French version).

*A. Fenet, Documents d’archéologie militante. La mission Foucher en Afghanistan (1922-1925). 695 p. 38 ill. M.A.I.B.L. 42. P. 2010 (critical edition of letters and documents of A.F. and his wife).

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