Male anatomical model, France, 1833-1866
This model is one of the classic poses produced by the house of famous French model maker Dr Louis Auzoux (1797-1880). Made of wax and papier-mâché, it shows a male figure with the muscles, veins and arteries exposed. The muscles are detachable along one side to show the inner organs. Museums of anatomical models became popular across Europe during the 1800s. They offered members of the public and medical students the opportunity to learn about the body’s internal structure, its reproductive system and its vulnerability to disease. Models were important because of a shortage of bodies available for dissection. There were also cultural and social taboos about using cadavers. Preservation was also difficult.
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Glossary: anatomical model
A model that demonstrates the structure of the human body through the separation of its parts. Often used for teaching purposes.
A branch of medical science concerned with the structure of living organisms.