Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Ordeal of the Wheels
  • Juan de la Abadía the elder
    active 1470–1500
    born: Huesca, Kingdom of Aragon (present-day Spain) ; active: Kingdom of Aragon (present-day Spain)
  • Ordeal of the Wheels, before 1491
  • Where object was made: Kingdom of Aragon (present-day Spain)
  • oil on panel, gold leaf
  • Canvas/Support: 80 x 49.5 cm
    Canvas/Support: 31 1/2 x 19 1/2 in
  • Museum purchase
  • Not on display
  • 1960.0069
Label Text

Painted scene of figures in an interior. The full-length seminude female figure in the left center (identified as Saint Catherine of Alexandria) is kneeling, arms bound above her head. She is between two wheels with blades set in the rims. A winged figure/angel is breaking the wheel to the left with a sword. Three full-length men are lying below pieces of broken wheel in the bottom left quadrant. Two full-length male figures stand in the top left quadrant. The one to the far left (identified as Emperor Maxentius) is wearing a crown, sword, and a robe trimmed in white with black spots (ermine?). In the background there is a tower with a barred window and a wall.