955 pages, Hardcover,
17,0 x 24,0 cm, 2020
including 415 colour plates
Footprints and depictions of feet are amongst the most prevalent religious imagery worldwide. In practically every culture or religion, honour is paid to the imprints or sculptures of feet or to the shoes associated with saintly teachers, enlightened beings or divinities.
This publication presents nineteen specialised chapters by leading international experts. The foot images and shoes studied range from the earliest preserved vestiges from the seventh to the fifth millennium BCE in North Africa to traces from Pharaonic Egypt and Classical Antiquity. Analyses of Hindu, Liṅgāyat and Jaina usages and of Buddhist remnants from the earliest Asian beginnings in India via developments in Nepal, Tibet, Thailand and China to distinct expressions in Japan are complemented by chapters focusing on the Islamic world, drawing evidence from Egypt, Arabia and Pakistan and illustrating continuity in contemporary art works.
The foot images, which show a combination of iconic and symbolic forms, are striking in that they signify both absence and presence, creating a link between enlightened beings and humans.
Julia A. B. Hegewald is Professor of Oriental Art History and Head of the Department of Asian and Islamic Art History at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn. She is a specialist in the history of South Asian and Himalayan art and architecture.