The aim of this project is to study and publish French collections of Chinese bronzes that were melted between the second millennium BC and the beginning of the 20th century. Indeed, France is host to some of the most important collections of Chinese bronzes in Europe. Although catalogues have been published in the past, they are generally incomplete and do not reflect the important developments carried out in this field in recent years. Taking as a model the catalogues published of the Sackler collection in the 1990s, Alain Thote would like to propose one or more monographs for these objects that would serve as reference works in the field. The ongoing work focus on the history of the collections, on the objects themselves (the main part, conducted in collaboration with colleagues from Cernuchi Museum and Chinese colleagues) and on their inscriptions (in collaboration with Olivier Venture). Physical analyses of the objects will also be carried out (with the intervention of specialised laboratories, in collaboration with Chinese colleagues). The ultimate goal of this project is to produce a descriptive catalogue for these collections of bronzes, on the model of those compiled in the field of Western painting.

Scientific output and scientific activities

This project should lead to the publication of one or more catalogues as well as many academic works relating to the relevant collections. One or more symposiums may be organised around the different collections.



archaeology epigraphy histoire de l’art



Alain Thote (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Olivier Venture (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

CRCAO members

Full members
Alain Thote (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Olivier Venture (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Outside Participants

Eric Lefebvre (Cernuschi Museum)
Mael Bellec (Cernuschi Museum)