The exhibition of a female anatomical figure made from wax at Boston, Lincolnshire, England, was used to educate the general public. Admission cost 1 shilling. The model could be taken apart to show the internal organs and muscles. The organs were modelled to show different things; for instance the liver showed “the effects produced by Intemperance and Excesses in Eating”. The lectures aimed to help women take better care of the sick. “Know Thyself” was a common phrase associated with the exhibition of anatomical wax, again reinforcing the educational benefit. But there was some controversy over the display, especially as the models were shown naked. For this reason men and women had different viewing days. The wax model was created by Antonio Sarti (d. 1851), who opened a public anatomical wax museum in London in 1839.
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Glossary: anatomical figure
Highly detailed models of the full human figure for artists, teachers and medical practitioners.