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Special Communication |

Surgery, Pathology, and Art in Pietro Gradenigo’s Ophthalmologic Waxworks

Fabio Zampieri, PhD1; Alberto Zanatta, PhD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Sciences, Section of Medical Humanities, Padua University Medical School
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013;131(11):1474-1475. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.2403.
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Pietro Gradenigo (1831-1904) represents one of the greatest eras of cultural and scientific activity in Italian ophthalmology. Padua’s Vincenzo Pinali Medico-historical Library preserves 2 series of ophthalmologic wax models. Made by Pietro Gradenigo in 1884-1889, the first consists of 18 waxes and shows different eyes diseases, such as neoplasm and tenonitis, and ophthalmologic surgical operations, such as some interesting cases of blepharoplasty. The second series from Vienna Medical School was created by Johann Hofmayer, ophthalmologist of the Josephinum in Vienna. The ideas at the foundation of wax modeling and operations represented in these series have some original and significant implications related to the role of medical imaging in didactic and research.

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Figure.
Example of Ophthalmologic Waxwork

Waxwork depicts the advancement flap of the lower lid presurgery and postsurgery. Reprinted with permission from the Vincenzo Pinali Medico-historical Library of Padua University.

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