19 Mar 2019

Palazzo Poggi

Museo di Palazzo Poggi


Via Zamboni, 33
The Senate of Bologna acquired Palazzo Poggi in 1711 to host the Institute of Sciences and Arts established by Luigi Ferdinando Marsili. After nearly three centuries, the great rooms – adorned with frescos by the celebrated painters Pellegrino Tibaldi, Nicolò dell’Abate and Prospero Fontana – once more accommodate the historic collections of geography and navigation, military architecture, physics, natural history, chemistry, human anatomy and obstetrics. The 16th-century Aldrovandi museum is located next door.

The Museum’s Human Anatomy and Obstetrics section displays the important collection of wax anatomical models. These models garnered Bologna fame in the 1700s, earning the appreciation of the international scientific community which- from the 1600s on- was forced to resort to wax given the scarcity of cadavers and the poor results obtained from their conservation. The evocative work of wax carvers Ercole Lelli (1702-1766), Anna Morandi (1714-1774) and Giovanni Manzolini (1700-1755) is displayed beside the terracotta collection used for instruction in Bologna’s school of obstetrics, founded by physician Giovanni Antonio Galli (1708-1782).

Image: Room of Ercole Lelli’s Wax Anatomical Models – Palazzo Poggi Museum
© University of Bologna