It’s hard to believe we’re almost coming up on a year since Dave and I married. While browsing through photos from our Italian honeymoon, I realized I never shared our visit to the La Specola anatomical wax collection, a major deathstination on our trip to Florence. Note: Some of the images might be considered NSFW.
In the same museum as the zoological collection, a few rooms towards the front house a vast collection of 18th century anatomical wax models created by Italian sculptor Clemente Susini. He closely referenced anatomical drawings and corpses dissected by notable physicians like Francesco Antonio Boi and Paolo Mascagni to ensure their striking anatomical accuracy.
Susini was praised for “the beauty which he gave to the most revolting things.”
And that’s truly what they are – grotesquely beautiful. The walls are lined with body parts, masterpieces, skin peeled back, circulatory systems exposed. My absolute favorites have to be the Anatomical Venuses, female models encased in Venitian glass and lounging semi-erotically on beds of silk, their ribs and entrails pulled open as they gaze into an eternal distance.