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  • Abstract

    The art of wax modelling or ceroplastics has an ancient origin, from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. It was re-discovered between the 13th - 14th centuries in Florence with the cult of votive offerings; with the advent of Neoclassicism it extended into a more scientific environment, flourishing in the study of normal and pathological anatomy, obstetrics, zoology and botany. On the 7th and 8th June 2019, the 2nd edition of the International Congress on Wax Modelling took place in the University of Padua. The meeting followed that held in September 2017 at the Gordon Museum of Pathology, King's College London. In June 2019, the major institutions related to the art of Wax Modelling met again in Padua; the congress was divided into two study days dedicated to the history, conservation, restoration and technique of this ancient art, which has recently come back into vogue. The event was organised by the University of Padua, under the patronage of CAM - University Centre for Museums, the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice and the National Association of Scientific Museums (ANMS). This conference proceedings: "The Science of Wax" offers a comprehensive overview of many different aspects of wax modelling, including: History (Major Collections), Anatomy and Science (Anatomical/botanical models), Art and Portraiture (Effigies, Portraits, Waxworks, Funeral Masks, Votive Offerings), Conservation and Restoration (maintaining, cleaning, repairing), Techniques and Contemporary Art.

  • Table of Contents



    Andrea Cozza, Giovanni Battista Nardelli, Maurizio Rippa Bonati
    The wax models of the gynaecological and obstetric clinic of the University of Padua

    Francesco M. Galassi, Elena Percivaldi, Luigi Ingaliso, Veronica Papa, Elena Varotto
    Plague: from palæopathology to wax modelling

    Nicolò Nicoli Aldini, Emanuele Armocida, Alessandro Ruggeri
    Anatomical wax modelling in modern Egypt: Leon Gatineau, his craft and his contribute to ceroplastic technique

    Bruno Lastersi, Pascale Pollier, Ann Van de Velde, Bryan Green
    Art & Science between Life & Death

    Alfons Zarzoso, José Pardo-Tomás
    Travelling exhibitions and wax makers on the move: anatomies in early 19th-century Barcelona

    Collections and discoveries

    Laurens de Rooy
    What Ziegler did not provide – the embryological plate models of the laboratory of anatomist Lodewijk Bolk

    Francesco Loy, Michela Isola
    Further anatomical findings in the wax models of Susini and Boi at the University of Cagliari


    Fabio Zampieri, Giovanni Magno, Alberto Zanatta
    The anatomical waxes in the early stage of smallpox vaccinations

    Alfons Zarzoso, Chloe Sharpe
    Wax models in Barcelona: from university anatomical sculptors to makers of dermatological waxworks

    Alessandro Porro, Paolo Maria Galimberti, Daniela Bellettati,Bruno Falconi, Lorenzo Lorusso, Antonia Francesca Franchini
    Scientific ceroplasty in Milan: new research acquisitions

    Laura Faustini, Stefania Lotti
    The teaching of phytoparasitology in the collections of the Istituto Tecnico Toscano of Florence

    Roberta Ballestriero, Fausto Barbagli, Stefania Lotti
    Italian fungi models: a teaching aid to avoid mushroom poisoning in the XIX century


    Eva Åhrén, Sabina Carraro
    Reviving a neglected collection through collaborative knowledge production: the case of the Stockholm moulages

    Thomas Schnalke
    Finger Faces. Wax Hand Models and Moulages in Medicine

    Amaya Maruri Palacín, David Aranda Gabrielli
    Following the tracks of the past: The recuperation of the Olavide Museum

    Michael Sticherling
    Dermatological moulages – the artists behind the objects

    Restoration - Conservation

    Martina Raudino, Giuseppe Pieraccini, Monica Galeotti, Claudia Corti, Moira Ambrosi The degradation of the anatomical wax models of “La Specola” Museum as a result of a demixing process

    Lucia Corrain, Ottavia Mosca
    Anna Morandi: Bolognese ceroplastics between practice and theory

    Laura Cunningham
    Waxing and Waning: The curious case of an early Eaton’s wax display mannequin

    Arts and artists

    Roberta Ballestriero, Marco Tosa
    From the Doge’s funeral masks to the ‘children with no names’. The art of wax modelling in Venice

    Konrad Schlegel
    Wax Artefacts in the Kunstkammer of Archduke Ferdinand II (1529-1595) at Ambras Castle

    Sharon Hecker
    Cast, Not Modelled: The Importance of Understanding Materials and Processes in Medardo Rosso’s Waxes

    Marco Antonio Miranda Razo
    Rescue of ancient pigments for the current ceroplastic technique, performed by the Mexican artisan Marco A. Miranda

    Eleanor Crook
    A new sculpture Commission for the Wellcome Galleries of Medicine, Science Museum London

    The future of ceroplastics

    Elena Corradini, Chiara Mascardi Rethinking and reinterpreting the 18th – 19th century wax models of the Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia’s Museum Centre (In studiis artistarum project).

    Nuria Díaz, Nuria Galland
    A CAPITE AD CALCEM. Anatomical models become the face of a literary and multimedia project

    Fulvio Barbaro, Giusy Di Conza, Giulia Toscani, Manuela Antoniel, Pietro Setti, Elena Caddeo, Enrico Quarantini, Marco Quarantini, Marina Gorreri, Roberto Toni
    The masks of Lorenzo Tenchini at the University of Parma: their legacy to the modern concepts of facial transplantation, additive layer manufacturing, and facial recognition algorithms

    Kimberly Johnson Ceroplasty’s Future: The Plastinates of Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds and the Visual Language of Modernity

    Congress Programme

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