The birth in a museum or the birth of a museum:
the obstetric collection in Padua
Department of Gynaecological Sciences
University of Padua
http://www.ginecologia.unipd.it
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
“The whole art of Medicine lies in the observation”
Sir William Osler
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
In Medicine, the image has always been a
teaching aid and a fundamental
accomplishment to the theoretical studies.
The books and the atlases, with engravings
and drawings work of famous artists, were in
Latin, the international and official language
of the Medicine, known by physicians but not
by midwives and by a new figure that, from
1600, appeared on the birth’s scene: the
surgeon-obstetrician, the “accoucheur” in
France.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
William Smellie – Tabulae Anatomicae,
1758
William Hunter – Anatomia uteri humani
gravidi Tabulis illustrata, 1774
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
In the 18th century, in Europe, because of the high mortality among
mothers and infants and the illicite exercise of the profession, the
rulers began to take an interest in this educational problem and
created schools for these women and men.
The books of Medicine were too difficult and so many academic
teachers ordered to ceroplastic artists the “Supelex obstetricia”,
anatomical models in wax or clay, to teach them the anatomy and
the physiology of the human body.
The three-dimensional perspective of the models replaces the twodimensional perspective of the drawings and gives a much more
real view and handling.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
The Department of
Gynaecological Sciences takes
in a collection of 40 female
anatomical models, in
polychrome wax and 22 female
pelvis, in coloured clay, acquired
for didactic use by Prof. Luigi
Calza (1736-1783), obstetrician
at the University of Padova from
1765.
The authors were:
Giovan Battista Manfredini and
Giovan Battista Sandri,
ceroplastics from Bologna.
Anatomical wax model: term pregnancy, fetus in cephalic
presentation.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The collection is online::
http://www.ginecologia.unipd.it
The obstetric collection in Padua
Giovan Battista Manfredini (Bologna 1742-1789)
He was born in Bologna and was an artist skilled in anatomical works, especially obstetric
works. He studied with the ceroplastic artists Giovanni Manzolini and Anna Morandi,
in Bologna.
Manfredini had a predilection for the wax, but he created some models in clay, too.
In 1785 he was member of the Accademia Clementina, like an anatomical sculptor.
He collaborated with the greater anatomists of his period, like Carlo Mondini and Antonio
Scarpa, and with his ceroplastic collegue Alessandro Barbieri.
Manfredini was the author of 60 anatomical waxes ordered by Luigi Calza for his obstetric
teaching, in Padua.
Then, the artist was in Modena where, between 1773 and 1776, he sculptured 52
obstetric models ordered by Francesco Febbrari, with the collaboration of the great
anatomist Antonio Scarpa.
In Rome, Manfredini was the author of 36 anatomical models in wax, ordered by
Cardinal De Zelada, as a teaching aid for the Anatomical Museum.
In 1783 he was in Bologna, where created some anatomical models in wax about the
visceral system, vessels and nerves.The work was completed by Alessandro Barbieri.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical wax model: term pregnancy, fetus in cephalic presentation.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical wax model: term pregnancy, fetus in cephalic presentation
with amniotic membranes.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical wax model: uterus, second trimester of pregnancy.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical wax model: term pregnancy, fetus in cephalic presentation.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical wax model: manual removal of the
placenta.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical wax model: uterus, first trimester of
pregnancy.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Pietro o Giovanni Battista Sandri (Bologna ?)
The identity of the second artist who collaborated to the creation of the anatomical
collection in Padua is uncertain.
Pietro Selvatico, in his book: “Guida di Padova e dei suoi principali contorni”, 1869, is the
first to mention him with the name Pietro.
Alfonso Corradi in his:”Dell’Ostetricia in Italia”, 1874, cites in a note G.B. Sandri, author of
the clays of the Obstetric Museum in Bologna.
Marco Bortolotti and Claudia Pancino in:”Ars Obstetricia Bononiensis”, 1988, cite a clay
moulder called Giovanni Battista Sandri, who collaborated with the couple Manzolini
for the “Supelex Obstetricia” in Bologna.
The source of this information is Michele Medici in: “Elogio dei coniugi Manzolini”, 1858.
Now, the name Pietro Sandri is improbable, because he was born in 1789 and the
collection in Padua is dated 1765.
Giovanni Battista Sandri could be more credible, because he worked in Bologna, in a
previous period to the Padua collection.
Moreover, Vincenzo Malacarne in:”Oggetti interessanti d’Ostetricia nel Museo Ostetrico
della Reale Università di Padova”, 1807, reports the number of waxes and clays
complete, like in 1765, without any addition.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical clay model: term pregnancy, fetus in breech
presentation.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical clay model: term pregnancy, fetus with incomplete
breech presentation.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical clay model: term pregnancy, fetus in face presentation.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical clay model: term pregnancy, fetus in cephalic
presentation.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical clay model: term pregnancy, fetus with extremity
prolapse.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
In 1819, Rodolfo Lamprecht founded the modern
Obstetrics and Gynaecological Clinic, with the rich library,
and completed the collection with many obstetric
instruments like forceps, pelvimetry and other tools of 18th19th century.
These seem “instruments of torture” to our modern eyes,
but in the past they were used to save the life of the mother
during difficult labours.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Obstetric instruments: XIXth century, first half.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Obstetric instruments: XIXth century, first half.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
This happened in the past…
And now?
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
These anatomical models are made with
new and precious materials, obtained
thanks to innovative procedures and
hand-painted, with ecological colours.
They reproduce the softness and the
elasticity of the human skin.
These models are used for obstetric
practical lessons of the midwives, in the
current academic year.
Anatomical skinlike model: the female urogenital
tract.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
La collezione ostetrica di Padova
Marina Cimino
Modena 17 Dicembre 2010
Anatomical skinlike model: uterine cavity with mobile fetus,
placenta and umbilical cord.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical skinlike model: term pregnancy and fetus in cephalic
presentation.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Anatomical skinlike model: term pregnancy, uterus and fetus.
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Phaidra, an acronym for Permanent Hosting, Archiving and Indexing
of Digital Resources and Assets, is a comprehensive university
digital asset management system with long-term archiving functions.
Phaidra offers the possibility to archive valuable data university-wide
with permanent security and systematic input, offering multilingual
access using metadata (data about data), thus providing worldwide
availability. As a constant data pool for administration, research and
teaching, resources can be used flexibly, where continual indexing
allows exact location and retrieval of the digital objects.
The active use of Phaidra – managing, saving and linking of objects
(texts, images, audio files, links and so on) – is available now only to
the University Library System of Padua.
Searching and browsing of the contents is possible worldwide,
without logging in, to:
https://phaidra.cab.unipd.it/
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
Phaidra Working Group
Librarians
• Lorisa Andreoli (Project Management)
• Marina Cimino (Customers Management)
• Alberta Coi
• Anna Mioni
• Anna Muffato
• Donata Pieri
• Michele Visentin
Technical support
• Yuri Carrer (Technical Director)
• Giorgio Osti
• Lucio Ton
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
The obstetric collection in Padua
ImMed – Images in Medicine, is a digitization
project of the Medicine Faculty.
The project was born in 2006 and now
collects about 800 images from ancient and
precious books and atlases from the Medicine
libraries, dated from 1794 to 1844.
The images are supported by bibliographic,
technical and administrative metadata.
http://polomedicina.cab.unipd.it/
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
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The obstetric collection in Padua
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The obstetric collection in Padua
The obstetric collection in Padua
“The human body is always the same, what
changes is only the way you look at it”
Thanks for your attention
Marina Cimino
Modena 17th December 2010
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la collezione ostetrica di Padova - Università degli Studi di Padova