Wax male anatomical figure, Italy, 1776-1780.

Image number: 10305915

Wax male anatomical figure, Italy, 1776-1780.

This half-life-size figure showing the body's muscle system is one of a series of eight made in the 1770s for La Specola zoological museum in Florence, Italy. They were trial pieces for a set of similar but life-size figures. Made of beeswax, they show the body structures with progressive layers of tissue taken away: the first is merely flayed (with the skin removed), while the last shows only the bones. Each figure is in a wooden case. Both sets of figures were probably made by Clemente Susini (1754-1814) and Francesco Calenzuoli (1796-1829), two of the finest wax modellers of the age. Other artisans, especially in Italy, became extremely skilled at this work, which interested artists and collectors as well as doctors.

Image number:
10305915
Credit:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Date taken:
20 October 2003 13:53
Image rights:
Science Museum