A rare 19th C papier-mâché model of a transected head made by Dr Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux and listed in his catalogue. Remarkable detail showing the anatomical structures of the head and neck with muscles, nerves and blood vessels.
The photographs show only the superficial external views and don’t do it justice. Each section is joined with brass pins and catches allowing whole model to be taken apart to reveal the inner anatomy, all in the same exquisite detail. Auzoux referred to his work “anatomy clastique” [from the Greek clastos, broken] and his models could be dissembled into their constituent parts to facilitate teaching medical students. The numerical markers would have been linked to a leger detailing the various anatominal landmarks.
This larger than life model is anatomically correct, but beyond this is a sculpture which has real presence. The denuded écorché state which has graced the ravages of time retains the essence of its human form and there is pathos in the eye which speaks of seeing and knowing better times.
A masterpiece which traverses the boundaries of art and science.