The Italian anatomist Felice Fontane (1720-1805)
directed the making of this wax teaching
model, possibly created from the cast of a corpse.
Using wax models skirted the legal and moral
problems in obtaining bodies for dissection, and avoided the decay of the
corpse in an era when this was inevitable.
This picture reminds me of a study published
in the 1990s about the reactions of
first-year medical students to the presence of human corpses, which they must dissect over a period of months. It's a difficult
situation for many people, as I think it would be for me.