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Footprint of the Buddha

18th century-20th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    18th century-20th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    wood with gilt
    116.0 x 53.5 x 5.8 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    According to Pali legend, the sole of the Buddha's foot was marked with 108 auspicious signs, the most prominent of which was the Wheel of the Doctrine. Legend asserts that during one of the Buddha's miraculous visits to Sri Lanka, he stamped an impression of his foot on the summit of a mountain. The site of this footprint has become a great pilgrimage site for Buddhists and reproductions were made and installed throughout Southeast Asia for the benefit of worshippers who could not make the pilgrimage to Sri Lanka. This footprint is one such copy, albeit a relatively recent one, yet attesting to the importance of this legend even in contemporary Buddhist practice. While the wheel mark at the centre of the footprint is clear it is a little difficult to make out the detail of all the other symbols. They include, however, buddhas and bodhisattvas in various postures and auspicious motifs including the stupa and the 'kalasha' (overflowing pot). It is believed that to worship one of these footprints brings the same benefits as worshipping the Buddha himself.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, February 2000.

  • Places

    Where the work was made