Anatomy model (1), by AUZOUX



In the 19th century, an industry developed for the growing medical teaching supplies. Anatomical wax models were sensitive; therefore the anatomists experimented with other materials.

The French surgeon Jean François AMELINE (1763-1835), professor of anatomy in his native city of Caen from 1808 onwards, was the first to produce articulated models of paper clay. His compatriot Louis Thomas Jérôme AUZOUX (1797-1880), who began his medical studies in 1818, was deterred by the formalin corpses presented to him for dissection. He therefore devoted himself to the development of an odorless technique of modeling, and invented the so-called "anatomy clastique" [from the Greek clastos, broken, disassembled - since his models could be disassembled into individual parts]. Inspired by dolls made of papier mâché (Italian carta pesta), which were then offered for sale in the streets of Paris, he developed a modeling compound that was initially soft and malleable, but then solidified to a resistant mass. Initially, he used plaster molds commonly found in housewares, but later developed more resistant forms of lead. He poured the pieces in pieces before joining them with wire threads into larger, hollow, ensembles, which were then smoothed and coated with cover paper and were supplemented with fine neural networks of silk [and license plates]. The solidified paste could be stained, allowing the modeling of the soft tissues with amazing naturalness. Already in 1822, he presented a model to the Académie de médecine in Paris, consisting of original bones, which were held together with a paste developed by him. An encouragement of the academy in 1824 and a public contract of the Ministry of the Interior then determined his further career, by devoting himself entirely to modeling from now on. In 1825 he presented a model of 139 parts. The success made him a factory for teaching models of humans and animals: in 1827 he founded in his birthplace Saint- Aubin-d'Ecrosville a factory with 50 workers who made models on the assembly line, popularly called "bonhommes d'Auzoux". The workers were highly paid, the most gifted were moved several times by AUZOUX to study medicine ... After 5 years of preliminary work, the company presented in 1830 a life-size model "Le Grand Ecorché", consisting of 129 (130) parts, which was noted on the 1500 details - priceless! From 1845 onwards, therefore, a cheaper 2: 1 whole body model was produced, along with models of the eye, the inner ear, the brain. His clients included universities, royal houses - even the Vatican ordered a full-body model for his collections.

Compared to anatomical wax models, papier-mâché artifacts are easier to manufacture, cheaper and more robust. In addition, individual sections of the models can be moved, which replaces the opening of real bodies and thus facilitates the teaching of anatomy. AUZOUX died high in Paris, a bust and a 1995 opened "Musée de l'Ecorché d'Anatomie" in Le Neubourg in Normandy are reminiscent of his work. Numerous international collections contain models from his hand. For more than 150 years, the AUZOUX factory supplied thousands of schools at home and abroad with human, animal and botanical figures.

The model presented here comes from the Pfaffenthal'er midwifery school and found itself one day in the dumpster of a municipal clinic. It is signed and dated on the top of the right diaphragm dome "Anatomie clastique du dr. Auzoux, 1887 ".