The history of medical education has been deeply affected by the use of wax anatomical models in Italy since the VIIIth century, when in Bologna’s Archiginnasio and Florence’s Specola two of the most important schools in anatomical ceroplastics were established. Anatomical preparations of the Specola are examined from an artistic point of view – i.e. the figures of artists and modellers who operated in Florence. But also the scientific perspective – i. e. the history of medicine – and the didactic perspective, from the point of view of both teachers and pupils such as surgeons and especially of midwives and obstetricians, emerge in all their importance – as clearly manifested by the magnificent Suppelex obstetricia. In their quality of scientific, artistic, museological and didactic objects, wax anatomical preparations are one of the most interesting examples of the intertwining between arts and science.
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