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OUDE KUNST: GANDHĀRA

Buddhapadas (footprints of the Buddha)

Kuschan period, 1st–2nd cent. CE
Chloritschiefer

32 x 32 x 2.5 cm LWD


Slab with the representation of the two footprints;[1] probably facing towards the observer. On the soles is a large chakra. On the heels there is a “ω-motif“[2] combined with an open padmā and two interstitial motifs. There are grooved lines along the “omega motif“. There is another com­bined with a ring-shaped chakra (padmā-motif) and two bar-shaped inter­stitial elements on the tip of the big toes. The prongs of the “ω-motif” point towards the tip of the toes. The edge of the relief plate is decorated with a zigzag band with half rosettes. On the narrow sides of the plate repeats the same motif, complete with line and half-rosettes themselves. Atypically the decorated motif is represented on the four sides of the external sides of the buddhapadas.

Anna Maria Quagliotti

 

[1] Buddhas Spur – Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Asien, Exh. cat. 2011, (fig.).
[2] Variously termed as nandipada, nandyāvarta, vardhamāna, triśūla, triratna, satti (śkti), “taaurine”, “crown of Brahmā“, an auspicious sign. It can be found on various objects of Indian art, not necessarily of a religious nature. In the author’s opinion it may symbolize the three branches of the tree of life. For this and other symbols on Buddhapadas, see Quagliotti 1998, 79–107.