Félix Gaspard Faraut

Félix Gaspard Faraut (13 June 1846, Nice, France — 19 Aug. 1911, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) was a French archaeologist, engineer, artist, photographer and researcher who established the first repertory of Khmer monuments at the turn of the century.

As the mechanic on the French war boat La Javeline” in 1873, Faraut was involved in the first Mekong Mission, known as Mission Delaporte. Drawing the Khmer monuments, he also became fluent in Khmer and ethnic languages. For the French Administration des Beaux-Arts, he documented numerouns monuments, in particular Banteay Chhmar, Mebon, Pre Rup and the Nirpan sanctuary.

In 1882 – 1883, he joined the second Mission Delaporte, then settled in Cambodia where furthered his research and launched with his associate Oscar Vandelet a vast opium farm, while perfecting his knowledge of Khmer language during a one-year Buddhist retreat.

Among his publications: De la vérification des dates des monuments khmers (2 vols., Saïgon, F.-H. Schneider, 1909 and 1910), L’Astronomie cambodgienne (Saïgon, F.-H. Schneider, 1910). Faraut’s drawings and photographs have illustrated several studies on Angkor and the Khmer civilization.