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Asian Art

Footprints of the Buddha (Buddhapada)

2nd century CE

Schist

34 × 49 1/4 × 2 1/2 in. (86.36 × 125.1 × 6.35 cm)
Gift of the Rubin-Ladd Foundation under the bequest of Ester R. Portnow
2015.141.1
In this relief, auspicious motifs such as wheels, swastikas, and shrivastas (wheels with hornlike tops) fill the soles and toes of the Buddha’s footprint. The snakelike heads of the two devotees in the niches on either side indicate that they are semi-divinities; the male figure on the left is a naga, and his female counterpart, a nagini, is on the right.
Geography: 
Pakistan
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Indian, Pakistani, ancient Gandharan
Period: 
Kushan Empire (30–375 c.e.)
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

London-based Pakistani collector; John Eskenazi Ltd., New York ; purchased on October 30, 2002 by The Rubin - Ladd Foundation, New York, and Georgetown, Conn; gift in 2015 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

Kathryn H. Selig Brown, Eternal Presence: Handprints and Footprints in Buddhist Art, exh. cat. (Katonah, N.Y.: Katonah Museum of Art, 2004), 34–35, pl. 1.

“Acquisitions July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pub_Bull_acquisitions_2016.pdf (accessed December 1, 2016).

David Ake Sensabaugh, “Footprints of the Buddha,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2017): 84, fig. 1.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.