Henri Focillon  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Henri Focillon (1881 - March 3, 1943) was a French art historian.

Director of the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. Professor of Art History at the University of Lyon, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, at the Sorbonne, at the Collège de France and then in the United States, where he went into exile and taught at Yale University. Poet, printmaker, and a teacher without equal, Henri Focillon formed generations of art historians including George Kubler. He remains best known for his works on medieval art, most of which were translated into English.

Partial bibliography

  • Vie des formes (1934, "The Life of Forms")
  • Éloge de la main
  • Benvenuto Cellini

Medieval Art

  • Art des sculpteurs romans (1932)
  • Art d'occident 1 : Moyen Âge roman et gothique
  • Art d'occident 2 : Moyen Âge gothique (1938)
  • Moyen Age. Survivances et réveils (1943)
  • Piero della Francesca (1951)
  • L'An mil (1952)


  • La peinture au XIXe et XXe siècles (1927-1928, "Painting in the 19th and 20th Centuries")
  • De Callot à Lautrec. perspectives de l’art français ("From Callot to Lautrec: Perspectives on French Art")


East Asia

  • L'art bouddhique (1921, "Buddhist Art")
  • Hokusai (1924)

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