Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
Founded in 1664 to counter the growing influence of the British and the Dutch East India Companies in global commerce, it was the major French colonial entity in Asia, controlling important parts of India in the eighteenth century. Some of its former colonies in India include Pondicherry (now the union territory of Puducherry), Mahe in southern India, and Chandernagor (now Chandannagar) in West Bengal. The company was liquidated in 1794.