PhD in art history


After obtaining a degree in modern literature from the University of Caen in 2011, Johan Levillain began studying art history and museology at the École du Louvre, where he specialised in the art of South Asia. He obtained a degree in 2014, followed by a master’s degree in 2016, after completing a dissertation on the architectural decoration of Mahasthangarh in Bangladesh, under the supervision of Vincent Lefèvre. In 2017, he obtained a degree in Indian studies from the Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 and a doctoral scholarship with the EPHE-EFEO, enabling him to begin a doctorate in art history under the supervision of Charlotte Schmid (EPHE-EFEO) and Adam Hardy (Cardiff University). His PhD dissertation, to be defended in December 2023, is entitled ‘Construire une culture régionale. Le Malwa médiéval à l’épreuve du site d’Āśāpurī, IXᵉ-XIᵉ siècles’.

At the same time, Johan Levillain works in the EFEO publications department and teaches art history of South and Southeast Asia at the École du Louvre and at Paris 3.

Download Johan Levillain’s bibliography in .doc format

Research fields and projects

The challenges of Johan Levillain’s research are as follows: to test the theoretical models of the early medieval age – in particular the concept of “regionalisation” – through the study of material culture; to develop a methodology in art history adapted to material corpus almost or totally devoid of epigraphs; to question the “achievements” relating to medieval art (the relationship between seriality and creativity; the status of artists and their way of working in a workshop; the relationships between local artistic idioms and dynastic styles).

  • Art History and Archaeology
  • Medieval North India
  • Role of museums in the knowledge of early medieval Indian art
  • Architecture and sculpture of Indian temples
  • Material culture
  • Regional cultures of medieval North India

HAL and Academia profiles