Wax model of a decomposing body in a walnut coffin, Italy, 1774-1800: The body in this wooden coffin is in a severe state of decomposition. It may have had two purposes: as ‘memento mori’, a reminder of death, or as a teaching aid. The figure is surrounded by three frogs. Frogs are symbols of rebirth and regeneration because they change so much in their lifetimes. Wax modelling was used in Europe to create religious effigies. From the 1600s, they were also used to teach anatomy. The creation of wax anatomical models, centred in Italy, was based on observing real corpses. The museum known as La Specola, or ‘the observatory’, in Florence was famous for its wax collection.
Frontal Lobotomy: It involved…Brain slicing! Essentially, it involved the insertion of the “ice pick” tool through the eye socket and into the prefrontal cortex of the brain. When the pick was in the right place, the protruding end was struck with a hammer. So basically, you stick a long piece of metal into your brain and hit it with a hammer. As someone who has a mental illness I find this to be extremely disturbing. I mourn for all of those who had to go through treatment such as this.