René Grousset

Portrait of René   Grousset

René Grousset (5 Sep 1885, Aubais, Gard, France  – 12 Sep 1952, Paris, France) was a French historian, curator of both the Cernuschi and Guimet Museums in Paris, a member of the Académie française and the author of numerous works on Asia and Asian art, as well as his two more commented books, Histoire des croisades et du royaume franc de Jérusalem (1936) and The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia (1939).

After serving in the French army during World War I. In 1925, Grousset was appointed adjunct conservator of the Musée Guimet in Paris and secretary of the Journal asiatique. By 1930 he had published five major works on Asiatic and Oriental civilizations. In 1933 he was appointed director of the Cernuschi Museum in Paris and curator of its Asiatic art collections. He wrote a major work on the Chinese Buddhist medieval pilgrim Xuanzang, particularly emphasising the importance of his visit to the northern Indian Buddhist university of Nalanda.[2]

Dismissed from his museum posts by the Vichy government, he continued his research privately and published three volumes on China and the Mongols during the war. Following the liberation of France, he resumed his curatorship of the Cernuschi Museum and in addition was appointed curator of the Guimet Museum. In 1946, Grousset was made a member of the Académie française. Between 1946 and 1949, he published four final works, concentrating on Asia Minor and the Near East, including De l'Inde au Cambodge et à Java (with J. Auboyer: 1950)