St. Catherine of Alexandria's Wheel

12th-13th century
Cathedral of Notre Dame, Le Puy-en-Velay, France

We are seeing the moment when, in the words of the Golden Legend, "an angel of the Lord struck that engine such a blow that it was shattered and four thousand pagans were killed." Here the angel is at 10 o'clock on the wheel, striking it with his sword. The hapless pagans lie prostrate at 7 o'clock and 5 o'clock. On the left, the cruel emperor (Maxentius in the legend but labeled Cesar Imperator here) watches with interest.

St. Catherine's placement with respect to the wheel is as problematic here as in most images of the event.

Read more about St. Catherine of Alexandria.

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.