St. Catherine'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 (see detail), striking it with his sword. The hapless pagans lie prostrate at 7 o'clock (see detail) and 5 o'clock. 

On the left the cruel emperor (Maxentius in the legend but labeled Cesar Imperator here) watches with interest (see detail).

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

More of St. Catherine

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