1899 – 1968
art history and archaeology, modern art and theatre criticism, novelist and play writer

Curriculum vitae

1899born in Budapest (Hungary) on November 18, of Jewish origin
1905-1918primary and secondary education; service in the army
1924MA philosophy, psychology and Germanic philology at the University of Pécs (Hungary); self-study of Indology and Indian art
1927PhD philosophy, University of Pécs, Hungary
1927-1934conservator of the Kern Institute Library, Leiden University
1934-1938work with the Archaeological Survey of India
1938-1945director of the Punjab Exploration Fund
1939acquired the English nationality
1945-1947curator of the Lahore Museum, Pakistan
1947-1950lecturer at the National Museum of India, New Delhi
1950-1959lecturer in art history, at Delhi Polytechnic (now The Delhi School of architecture)
1948-…art and theatre critic for The Statesman
1968passed away in Delhi

Special activities and positions

  • Co-editor of the Annual Bibliography of Indian Archaeology for the years 1926-1932 [1928-1934]
  • Expedition with Sir Aurel Stein, 1932
  • Editor of the Annual reports of the Archaeological Survey of India for the years, 1930-31, 1931-32, 1932-33 & 1933-34
  • Visiting professor of Indian art history, Santiniketan, 1933


  • Bethlenfalvy, Géza, Charles Louis Fabri: his life and works, comp. and ed., New Delhi 1980.
  • Bethlenfalvy, Géza, “A select bibliography of the writings of Charles Fabri (chronological),” In: Géza Bethlenfalvy, Idem, pp. 161-173
  • Koves, Margit, The English curator and the Buddhist doctor: Charles Fabri’s identities in India, New Delhi 1997 (Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Research-in-progress papers ‘history and society’; 3rd ser. 20).


1928  William James: egy filozófus arcképe (William Jones: the portrait of a philosopher) , Pécs (Specimina Dissertationum Facultatis Philosophiae Regiae Hungaricae Universitatis Elisabethianae Quinqueecclesiensis 6). – PhD thesis Pécs.
1929  “Exploration of pre-historic mounds in Baluchistan and in Iran.” ABIA 1929 4 [1931]: 14-21.
“The attempt to crush the Buddha under a huge stone,” abstract of a paper read at the sixth congress of Het Oostersch Genootschap, 1927, Leiden. Verslag van het zesde congres, gehouden te Leiden op 3, 4 en 5 april 1929, pp. 23-24.
1930  “Un élément mésopotamien dans l’art de l’Inde.” JA 217: 298-302.
“A Graeco-Buddhist sculpture representing the Buddha’s descent from the heaven of the thirty-three gods.” AO 8: 288-293.
1931  “Alexander’s battle with Porus: Sir Aurel Stein’s new location.” ABIA 1931 [6] [1933]: 1-5.
“Two notes on Indian head-dress: the hair curl of a princess at Bāmiyān and the head-dress of women in early India.” JRAS 63,3: 597-601.
1932  “Mesopotamian and early Indian art: comparisons.” In: Études d’Orientalisme publiées par le Musée Guimet à la mémoire de Raymonde Linossier, tome I. Paris, pp. 203-253.
“Further excavations of Pahārpur, Bengal.” ABIA 1932 7 [1934]: 26-31.
“Note on the importance of South Persia in archaeological research.” Indian Art and Letters NS 6: 120-121.
1934  “On the track of stone age man in Persian Baluchistan.” Asia 34,8: 468-473.
“The work of the Archaeological Survey of India during 1933-1934.” ABIA 1934 9 [1936]: 1-6.
“Latest attempts to read the Indus script: a summary.” Indian Culture 1,1: 51-56.
“The ancient Hungarian script and the Brāhmī characters.” Indian Culture 1,2: 167-171. – Paper read at the seventh congress of Het Oostersch Genootschap, 13-15 September 1933, Leiden; abstract in Verslag van het zevende congres, pp. 37-38.
Review of: A. K. Coomaraswamy, The transformation of nature in art, Cambridge MA 1934. Rupam 2,1: 63-65.
Review of: B. Markowski, Die materielle Kultur des Kabulgebietes, Leipzig 1932. JRAS 66,1: 137-139.
Review of: B.B. Madhab, Barhut, vol. 1: Stone as a story teller, Calcutta 1934. India and the world, pp. 19.
1935  “The punch-marked coins: a survival of the Indus civilization.” JRAS 67,2: 307-318.
1936  “A new branch of knowledge in India (with a digression on a certain method of research).” Indian Culture 3,1: 137-155.
“A Sumero-Babylonian inscription discovered at Mohenjo Daro.” Indian Culture 3,4: 663-673.
“The Cretan bull-grappling sports and the bull-sacrifice in the Indus Valley civilization.” Annual Report ASI 1930-34: 93-101.
“Excavations at Nāgārjunikoṇḍa.” Annual Report ASI 1930-34: 107-111.
“Discoveries in the Southern Circle.” Annual Report ASI 1930-34: 111-113.
“Other exploration work in the Central Circle.” Annual Report ASI 1930-34: 140-141.
1937  “More ancient mounds near Lahore.” The Civil and Military Gazette 12th October.
Review of: Sir Aurel Stein, Archaeological reconnaissances in North-West India and Southern Iran, London 1937. Sunday Statesman 26th September 1937.
1938  “A ruined town near Bhera.” The Civil and Military Gazette 15th January 1938.
“The age of the Indus Valley civilization.” Current Science 6,9: 433-436.
1939  “Buddhist baroque in Kashmir.” Asia 39,10: 593-598.
“Excavating a Buddhist city.” The Illustrated Weekly of India 19th November 1939.
“The discoveries near Bhera.” The Civil and Military Gazette May 31, 1939, p 10.
1940  “Fresh finds of Mogul times.” Asia 40,3: 159-164.
“Archaeology in the Punjab.” The Punjab past and present (A souvenir of the twenty-sixth meeting of the Indian Science Congress Association, held at Lahore, January 1939), pp. 93-109. – Also publ. in Mārg 10,2: 4-14.
“Graeco-Buddhist sculptures of the 7th century now in the Lahore Musuem.” ABIA (?):
“Burried empires.” Current Science 9,8: 388-391.
“The importance of observation.” The Punjab Educational Journal 34,12: 1159-1166.
1942  “Hidden in private houses: some masterpieces of Indian terracotta sculpture.” The Illustrated Weekly of India Aug. 9, 1942.
1946  “Pyridine for the cleaning of dirty paintwork.” Journal of Indian Museology 1: 48.
1947  Indian flamingo: a novel of modern India, London.
Guide to the stone age, Lahore (Guide-books of the Central Museum Lahore 1).
“Wall paintings of the Khalifa El-Walid.” Pakistan Times, Annual 1947: 70-71.
1951  “Buddhist masterpieces 1-4.” Kashmir 1,16/17/18,21 and 23.
“Amrita Sher-Gil.” The march of India 4,1: 40-43, 47.
1952  “The Bull of Asoka.” Indo-Asian Culture 1,2: 148-152.
“Present trends in Indian dancing and painting.” In: Indian Information Services, India in 1951: a collection of articles, [New Delhi], pp. 39-42.
“Modern painters: Madhav Satwalekar.” The march of India 4,3: 25-28, 37.
1953  “International Art in India.” Studio 146:728 (1953:Nov.) pp. 150-151.
“Reflections on the International Exhibition 1953.” Roopa-Lekha 24,1/2: 53-57.
“Kashmir’s contribution to Indian painting.” Kashmir 3,1: 5-6.
“Ballet costume in Akbar’s time.” Mārg 7,1: 17-22.
“The Graeco-Buddhist art of Gandhāra.” India and Israel 5,8: 29-31.
Review of: Bulletin of the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, 1951-1952, No. 2. In: Artibus Asiae 16: 329.
1954  “The Russians in India.” The dancing times, March 1954, pp. 357-358.
“India.” The dancing times, July 1954, pp. 616-617.
“National museum of India.” Tourist News 3,1: 14-17.
“A forgotten aspect of Indian sculpture.” Indo-Asian Culture 2,3: 264-268.
“Mathura of the gods.” Mārg 7,2: 8-22.
“Bells on their toes: some Indian dancers I have known.” Western Railway Annual 1954: 51-63.
“The end of architecture: apex.” Journal of the Architectural Society 1,9: 9-11.
“Professionals and amateurs in India.” The Bihar Theatre 6: 51-56.
“Furniture and space on the amateur stage.” Curtain Call: a review of theatre in India 3,1/2: 23-25, 28, 31.
Review of: B. Rowland, The art and architecture of India, Baltimore 1953. Art Bulletin 36,2: 143-145.
Review of: Stella Kramrisch, Drāviḍa and Kerala in the art of Travancore, Ascona 1953 (Artibus Asiae suppl. 11). Artibus Asiae 17: 328-330.
1955  “Akhnur terra-cottas.” Mārg 8,2: 53-64.
“Frescoes of Ajanta: an essay.” Mārg 9,1: 61-76.
“Bihar, where the Buddha walked.” Tourist News 4,10: 33-35.
Review of: Sir Mortimer Wheeler, The Cambridge History of India: Supplementary Volume: The Indus Civilization, Cambridge 1953. Artibus Asiae 18,2: 204-206.
1956  “Gandhāra and its offshoots.” Mārg 9,2: 36-40.
“The teaching of art.” The Education Quarterly March 1956: 36-39.
“Quarters for low-income government employees.” The Indian Builder 4,4: 44-46.
“An imaginative design for a house in Delhi.” The Indian Builder 4,8: 28-31.
1957  “Indian art in 1957.” Art and Letters NS 31,2: 6.
“Dhanraj Bhagat: tradition and modernity.” Design 1,3: 14-15.
“Amrita Sher-Gil.” Design 1,12: 13-15, 24.
1958  “The truth about Ajanta.” The Illustrated Weekly of India February 16, 1958, pp. 40-42.
“A new critical approach to Indian art.” Design, Annual, July 1958, pp. 62-69, 92.
“The sculpture of the Sun Temple: a study in styles.” Mārg 12,1 (Homage to Konarak number): 33-43.
1959  “The much maligned critic.” Natya: Theatre Arts Journal Spring: 39-42.
“The Kathak costumes in Mughal times.” Mārg 12,4: 58-61.
“The hundred temples of Aihole.” March of India 11,6: 7-10.
“Eine neue Begegnung mit der indischen Kunst.” Das Kunstwerk (Sonderheft Indien) 21,11/12: 5-7.
Review of: W.G. Archer, India and modern art, London 1959. Roopa-Lekha 30,1/2: 126-128.
1960A history of Indian dress, Calcutta. – repr. New Delhi 1977 and 1994 with title Indian dress: a brief history.
Indian art: a new point of view, [New Delhi:] Information service of India [1960], 46 p.
Et al., “Culture and the common man: a symposium.” Cultural Forum 3,1.
“Dance dramas of Tagore.” Natya: Theatre Arts Journal (= Tagore issue): 10-15.
“Introduction to Orissi dance.” Mārg 13,2: 4-5.
“Art criticism in India.” Design 4,7: 95-96.
“The temples of Khajuraho.” March of India 12,4: 20-25.
1961  “Dance in India.” Indo-Asian Culture 10,1 (July): 70-80.
“An outline history of Indian painting I.” Cultural Forum March 1961: 24-27.
“An outline history of Indian painting II.” Cultural Forum June 1961: 46-49.
“An outline history of Indian painting III.” Cultural Forum Oct. 1961: 84-87.
“Subject and form: a mistaken criterion in art history and criticism.” Design (Annual) 5,9: 137-141.
“A critic in the capital.” Design (Annual) 5,12: 39-40.
Report of a seminar on contemporary play-writing and play production, March 31 – April 2, 1961. Organized by the Bharatiya Natya Sangh.
“What to do with the Kathakali stage?” Kathakali: Journal of the International Centre for Kathakali 1,3: 27-29.
“Gandhāra, Mathura and Amāravati.” March of India 13,9: 28.
Review of: L. Hájek, Indian miniatures of the Mughal school, London 1960. Roopa Lekha 32,2: 108-109.
1962  Homage to Khajuraho, et al. Bombay Marg Publ.
“Islamic art, architecture and painting.” The March of India 14,1: 36-38.
“Gupta art and medieval baroque.” The March of India 14,2: 21-25.
“The Indian theatre.” The March of India 14,6: 30-32
“The Indian art of puppetry.” The March of India 14,10: 19-23.
“Artists at the industries fair.” Design 5,1: 31-34.
“The India international centre, New Delhi.” Design 6,7: 102-107.
“Problems of Indian architectural history.” Design 6,7: 118-123.
“Attitudes to folk theatre.” Natya: Theatre Arts Journal 6,2: 6-7.
1963  An introduction to Indian architecture, London (General education reading material series $ Arts and philosophy 5).
“Contemporary art of india: a symposium.” Cultural Forum 5,3: 28-33.
“Avinah Chandra today.” Design 7,6: 29-32.
“The art of Miss Yamini Krishnamurti.” Design 7,7: 143-144.
“Classical Indian art.” Design 7,7: 114-117.
“A history of art history in India.” Design 7,10: 37-40.
“The fulfilment of the baroque at Khajuraho.” In: M.R. Anand and S. Kramrisch, Homage to Khajuraho, Bombay, (Mārg Publications), pp. 6-17.
“An introduction to Indian art: prehistoric art – Gandhara, Mathura and Amaravati art – Gupta art and medieval baroque – Islamic art, architecture and painting – painting of the Hinus and Jains.” AIR Miscellany 1962, Publications Division, Delhi, March 1963. – Text of radiotalks.
Review of: R. Reeves, Cire perdue casting in India, New Delhi [1962]. Cultural Forum 5,4
1964  Bhagat: [reproductions / with an introd. essay and a biographical note by Charles Fabri] ; editor[s]: Jaya Appasamy [and] S.A. Krishnan, New Delhi (Lalit Kalā series of contemporary Indian art).
An introduction to European painting, New York etc.
“The state of arts in Europe.” Roopa-Lekha 34,1/2: 22-27.
“Art history.” Cultural Forum 23 (special issue): 97-99.
“Archaeology and the public.” Design 8,7: 113-118.
“Some little known nudes in Indian sculpture.” Design 8,8: 30-33.
“World famous musicians compare Indian and Western music.” News Future, U.S. Information Service, Bhawalpur House, Feb. 14, 1964, pp. 1-5. – An interview with Yehudi Menuhin on Indian music; orig. publ. in The Statesman.
1965  “Early Indian architecture.” Hemisphere: an Asian-Australian magazine 9,3: 20-25.
“Krishen Khanna.” Design 9,3: 25-28.
“The ballet in India.” Design 9,5: 111-120.
“Famous mural painting in India.” India Calling Oct., pp. 6, 8.
“Notes on Indian architecture.” Welcome to India 1965: 11-14.
“The dramatic vision: exhibition of Ebrahim Alkazi.” Design 9,12: 31-32.
1966  “The temple of Vizhinjam, Kerala.” Design 10,2: 25-26.
“The pundit and the people.” Design 10,8: 32-34.
“Dhanraj Bhagat.” Design 10,11: 29-31.
“The real problem of the theatre in India: a guest editorial.” Design 10,12: 13-14, 47-48.
“Our miniature painting.” India Calling April, pp. 1-2.
“Mannerist art in India.” Conspectus: quarterly Journal of the India International Centre 2,3: 51-56.
“A strange temple at Bhubaneshvar: the Vaital Deul.” Pushpanjali 2,1.
1967  “One thousand years of art at Ajanta.” Traveller in India 11,5: 21-25.
“Kumkum Dass.” Design 11,3: 36.
“Hedendaagse schilderkunst: contemporary art of India.” Vlaanderen 16,94: 270-274.
Translator of: K. Rülicke-Weiler, “The life of Galilei: Brecht’s observations on the final scene.” Sangeet Natak 5: 5-31.
1968  Konarak, Bombay (Marg publications)..
“Classical dances of India.” Quest July-Sept., pp. 71-73.
“The tragi-comedy of the theatre in Delhi.” Shankar’s Annual, p.121.
1970  Discovering Indian sculpture: a brief history, New Delhi-Bombay.
1974  History of the art of Orissa, Bombay [etc.].

Not found
1932? “The chronology of the frescoes of the Ajaṇṭā and Bāgh caves.” Actes XVIIe congres, p. 162.