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April 1991

The Anatomical Wax Preparations in the Josephinum in Vienna, Austria: (On the Improvement of Surgical Education 200 Years Ago)

Author Affiliations

Vienna, Austria

Arch Surg. 1991;126(4):421-422. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1991.01410280025001

As a teacher in this specialty I would wish that any surgeon-to-be consider the medico-historical museum in the Josephinum in Vienna as a part of his education."1

Two important anniversaries in 1990 remind us of the establishment of this magnificent collection of anatomical wax preparations commissioned in 1775 to serve as teaching aids for military surgeons: February 20 and July 29. The former date is the bicentennial of the death of Emperor Joseph II (1741-1790), whose private munificence provided the means for this collection2 and the latter, the 190th anniversary of the death of the first director and protochirurgus of the Military Medical Academy Giovanni Alessandro Brambilla (1728-1800).3 All the exquisite erudition of medical scholars in Italy back to Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) in Padua and all the proud tradition of Italian handicraft went into the production of more than 1100 wax preparations4 over a whole decade. Anyone

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