BÉNISTI (Monié-Bénisti, née Sarfati)

BÉNISTI (Monié-Bénisti, née Sarfati), Mireille. Algier 10.10.1909 — 11.12. 1993. French Art Historian (Buddhist and Khmer Art). Born in Algeria came early to Paris. Suffered of ill health, but in November 1943 she joined the Comité Français de la Liberation Nationale in Algier, and worked after the war in Ministère de la France d’Outre-Mère. During her leisure studied at École du Louvre under Ph. Stern and obtained her diplom in 1950 with a thesis on lotiform medaille. This brought her a study leave, which she used studying Indology under Renou, Filliozat and Mus and obtained the diplom of É.P.H.É. in 1958 with thesis on stūpa. From 1955 worked at C.N.R.S. (maître de recherche 1969), from 1960 Conservateur des Musées Nationaux. In 1959-60 visited India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. In 1962-63 taught Indian and Khmer archaeology at Uni­ver­sity of Phnom Penh establishing a new subject, in 1967-68 again visited Cambodia, and several times India and Sri Lanka. In 1960-67 taught at Ecole de Louvre and from 1967 at Musée Guimet, retired in 19??. Married Lucien Bénisti, then Paul Monié.

Bénisti began her career as art historian rather late – she was already 40 – but soon developed into a noted specialist of Buddhist art and architecture of India and Cambodia.

Publications: Le medaillon lotiforme dans la sculpture indienne du IIIe s. av. J.-C. au VIIe s. après J.-C. 45 p. 26 pl. Publ. du musée Guimet. P. 1952.

– “Un relief inédit de l’Āndhradeśa”, Arts as. 4, 1957, 299-307; “Nāgārjunakoṇḍa essai de ‘caractérologie’”, Arts as. 6, 1959, 217-234; “Note stylistique”, Arts as. 12, 1965, 53-82.

– “Étude sur le stūpa dans l’Inde Ancienne”, BEFEO 50:1, 1960, 37-115, 12 pl., 1960; “Les stūpa aux cinq piliers”, BEFEO 58, 1971, 131-162 & 74, 1985, 136-140.

With Ph. Stern: Evolution du style indien d’Amarāvatī. 116 p. ill. P. 1961.

– “La vedikā ornamentale”, BEFEO 51, 1963, 391-402; “A propos du Triratna”, BEFEO 64, 1977, 43-82.

– With A. Bareau: “Le site de la Dhānyakaṭakā de Hiuan-tsang”, Arts as. 12, 1965, 21-52.

Rapports entre la premier art khmer et l’art indien. 1-2. P. 1970.

Contribution à l’étude du stūpa bouddhique indien: Les stūpa mineurs de Bodh-Gayā et Ratnagiri. 1-2. 158 p. 170 fig. P.E.F.E.O. 125. P. 1981.

Further studies on Khmer art: “Recherches sur le premier art khmer”, Arts as. 1968-77; “Notes d’iconographie khmère”, BEFEO 1963-76.

Shorter articles and reviews, e.g. in Arts asiatiques, BEFEO and BEI.

Sources: Caillat, JA 282, 1994, 215-218; B. Frank, Art. as. 49, 1993, 118-120; R.H. Regnier, BEI 10, 1992, 23f.; P.-S. Filliozat, BEFEO 81, 1994, 36-47 (with bibliography and photo).

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