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Brain and Art pp 153-167 | Cite as

Wax Anatomical Models and Neuroscience: From Artistic Italian Creation to Therapeutic Approach

  • Alessandro Porro
  • Lorenzo Lorusso
Chapter

Abstract

Wax modelling has been used since ancient times with its first application in art in the fifteenth century involving famous artists with knowledge of anatomy. It was only in the seventeenth century that coloured ceroplastic began to be used for teaching anatomy as valid alternative to dissected human bodies, including also neuropathological. The origin of this scientific approach was born in central Italy, in Florence and Bologna in the eighteenth century, and immediately spread to other Italian cities, and Europe, and throughout the rest of the world. Wax neuro-models were shown as artefacts and destined to train young doctors in anatomical knowledge. Nowadays, wax is often considered an old-fashioned art form but what is not well known is that wax has a useful therapeutic application in medicine, with a particular emphasis in neurosurgery.

Keywords

Wax anatomical model Ceroplastic Florence, Bologna and Milan 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Porro
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Lorusso
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e di ComunitàUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Neurology Unit, Neuroscience DepartmentASST-LeccoMerateItaly

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