Painting of Buddha's footprint - ROM2012_12874_1


Painting of Buddha's footprint

Maker: Unknown artist
Medium:Watercolour on paper
Geography: Thailand
Date: 19th century
Period: Rattanakosin Period
Ht. 78 x Wt. 50 cm
Object number: 2012X5.1
Not on view

This painting shows the subject of the "Buddha's footprint". The sole of the foot is divided into over 100 sections and decorated with auspicious symbols showing aspects of religious and popular culture. An inscription on the work describes these as "things created where he stepped." These include flowers, buildings, animals, birds, flags, gods, water, mountains, and symbolic weapons. The number and selection of symbols seem to have been up to either the artist or the person who commissioned the work. The elephants, the fan, the parasol, and the flywhisk are representations of royalty and associated with the Buddha. The toes are the same length and decorated with a lotus and a stylized wheel. 

By the early 15th century, Theravada Buddhism was the dominant school of religion in Thailand. It is also known as monastic Buddhism, as only those who lead a monastic life can achieve enlightenment and enter nirvana. A layperson, through meritorious deeds such as donations to temples, the commissioning of images and performing regular worship, can hope to reduce the number of rebirths they must endure.

Southeast Asia
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