Wax anatomical model of female torso and head, showing internal organs, with removable heart, on wooden display cabinet, by Francesco Calenzuoli, Italian, dated 1818
This anatomical wax model shows the internal organs in a female torso and head, including the lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys and intestines. Complete with the veins and arteries, the heart is entirely removable.
The figure was made by Francesco Calenzuoli (1796-1821), an Italian model maker renowned for his attention to detail. Wax models were used for teaching anatomy to medical students because they made it possible to pick out and emphasise specific features of the body, making their structure and function easier to understand. This made them especially useful at a time when few bodies were available for dissection. The model was donated by the Department of Human Anatomy at the University of Oxford.