Footprints of the Buddha (Buddhapada) Artist: Unknown

2nd century CE

Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

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.




34 × 49 1/4 × 2 1/2 in. (86.36 × 125.1 × 6.35 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of the Rubin-Ladd Foundation under the bequest of Ester R. Portnow

Accession Number



Kushan Empire (30–375 C.E.)


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 records is ongoing.



Private collection, United Kingdom [see note 1]; sold to John Eskenazi, Ltd., New York, by October 2001; sold to the Rubin-Ladd Foundation, Georgetown, Conn., and New York, October 30, 2002 (R-L inv. no. I0203 22) (on loan as a promised gift to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2006–15); given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2015

Note 1: The private collection was formed by a collector who was originally from Pakistan (Email from John Eskenazi to the Gallery, July 18, 2022, copy in accession file)

This work appears on our "Antiquities and Archaeological Material with Provenance Documentation Gaps" page.
  • David Ake Sensabaugh, "Footprints of the Buddha," in "Recent Acquisitions," special issue, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2017), 84, fig. 1
  • "Acquisitions July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin: Online Supplement (accessed December 1, 2016), 17
  • Benjamin Genocchio, "Art Review: Following the Path of Buddha," New York Times (November 21, 2004),
  • 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
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