Ercole Lelli (1702-1766), “figure director” of the Accademia Clementina delle Belle Arti housed in Palazzo Poggi, was responsible for the first systematic planninginvolving anatomical waxworks. In October 1742, upon Pope Benedict XIV’s request, he presented his programme for the institute’s anatomical room detailing the wax model tablets he was to create. These included: wax tablets illustrating "separate bones", eight life-size statues including a male and a female nude and six flayed men showing different muscle layers down to the bone.
The Camera della Notomia (The anatomy room) was finally instituted in the institute in 1747.
The making of wax models entailed several stages of preparation. The first step was procuring th body parts to be reproduced. At this point a drawing of the part was made and layers ol coloured wax were poured over it imitating the real body part.
The wax - generally the “Levante” type” - was diluted with turpentine and then blended with mastic and tallow. For the models, the base was generally made of bones taken from human skeletons, and in the case of full figures, they were supported by a steel wire framework that made possible setting them in the desired poses.