Another picture from an album of Chinese paintings depicting various methods of punishment in the Qing Dynasty, showing two officials. One is arresting a male suspect, while the other is preventing his wife from approaching him.
Punishment and trial were among the most popular motifs depicted by Cantonese artists on special paper made from the native evergreen tree tongcao 通草 (Tetrapanax papyrifer). Foreign visitors were especially fascinated by the legal system in which the accused was not represented and torture was used in court proceedings. Harsh interrogation methods such as finger snapping, slapping, and hanging with ropes were of particular interest, as were punishments ranging from beating with bamboo and tying to a tree stump to execution by suffocation and decapitation for the worst crimes. (NVS)