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Asian Art
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Footprints of the Buddha (Buddhapada)

2nd century CE


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
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.
On view
Indian, Pakistani, ancient Gandharan
Kushan Empire (30–375 C.E.)

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


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.