Wax anatomical model of a male torso and head, by Clemente Susini, 1770-1805

Wax anatomical model of a male torso and head showing internal organs, by Clemente Susini, Italian, 1770-1805

This anatomical wax model portrays a heavily dissected male torso and head. It shows organs such as the heart, kidneys, testicles and penis and tissues such as the spine, nerves and blood vessels.

Anatomical models like this were used for teaching anatomy to medical students or as part of popular anatomy shows. Wax could be moulded and coloured to resemble lifelike features in the body, making their structure and function easier to understand. Models were useful at a time when few bodies were available for dissection. Capturing fine details in wax helped to emphasise anatomical details that could be hard to see in a visceral, decomposing body.

This model appears to have been made by Clemente Susini (1754-1814), an Italian model maker working in Florence renowned for his wax anatomical models that vividly and accurately depicted partly dissected corpses. The model was donated by the Department of Human Anatomy at the University of Oxford.


Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
complete, wax, human hair, silk and wood
overall: 186 mm x 760 mm x 358 mm, 5.82 kg
anatomical models
Oxford University (Dept. Human Anatomy)