For most of the 18th century Bologna was in the forefront in the reproduction of wax models of full human figures or individual parts of the body. After Ercole Lelli, the leading figures in this art were Anna Morandi (1714-1774) and her husband, Giovanni Manzolini (1700-1755), both of whom made very important contributions to the anatomy room of Palazzo Poggi.
Anna Morandi had been trained by her husband who, in turn, had collaborated with Lelli. She also made the wax obstetrics models for Giovanni Antonio Galli.
Morandi and Manzolini’s production are a testimony to the clear progress made by wax anatomical modeling as far scientific accuracy was concerned. Unlike Lelli’s productions, which were limited to bones, muscles and tissues, Morandi and Manzolini’s focus was on the study and reproduction of sense organs, the uro-genital and the cardio-vascular systems.
The tablets crafted for the anatomists at the institute provide an excellent example of Morandi’s skill in combining effective and elegant renderings with the most up to date findings in physiological and anatomical research.