This image is not available for purchase in your country.

The Breaking Wheel, 1548

The Breaking Wheel, 1548


Rights Managed

39.6 MB (2.5 MB compressed)

3750 x 3695 pixels

31.8 x 31.2 cm ⏐ 12.5 x 12.3 in (300dpi)

This image is not available for purchase in your country.

Please contact your Account Manager if you have any query.




The breaking wheel, also known as the Catherine wheel or simply the wheel, was a torture device used for capital punishment from antiquity into early modern times for public execution by breaking the criminal's bones/bludgeoning him to death. As a form of execution, it was used from classical times into the 18th century, as a form of post mortem punishment of the criminal, the wheel was still in use in 19th century Germany. The wheel was typically a large wooden wagon wheel with many radial spokes. The condemned were lashed to the wheel and their limbs were beaten with a club or iron cudgel, with the gaps in the wheel allowing the limbs to give way and break. Alternatively, the condemned were spreadeagled and broken on a saltire, a cross consisting of two wooden beams nailed in an X shape, after which the victim's mangled body might be displayed on the wheel.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

 {{ i.shot_duration ? i.shot_duration + ' ' : '' }}{{ i.shot_uhd ? '4K ' : i.hires ? 'HD ' : '' }}{{ i.spl_number }} R{{ i.license }}

  • Add to board
  • Similar {{ mediaType(i) }}