A wax model of the brain made by F. La Croix after dissections by G. J. Duverney. Engraving by P.E. Moitte after J. de Sève, 1749.

  • Sève, Jacques de, active 1742-1788.
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About this work


This wax model of a female head is a duplicate of the wax head that La Croix made for Peter the Great of Russia after dissections by Duverney (Buffon pp. 216; 228-233) The head, which could be disassembled to display the interior parts of the head, was commissioned by the Czar during his visit to Paris in 1717. La Croix, had previously worked with the wax modeler Desnoües, a student of Zumbo's (Pyke 1973, pp. 75-76) La Croix kept the existence of the duplicate head a secret and it was discovered only after his death

Buffon became the "intendant" of the Jardin du Roi in 1736 and his Histoire naturelle has, as its base, his descriptive catalogue of the specimens of the "cabinet du roi". The third volume is concerned with the Natural History of Man. In the introduction to the work, he remarks that, even more than the most exact descriptions and the best illustrations, "Nothing contributes more to the advancement of Natural History, than the continual observation of the objects of which it comprises."


[Paris] : [Imprimerie royale], [1749]

Physical description

1 print : engraving ; platemark 20.9 x 16.7 cm


D. S. delin ; Moitte sc.

References note

E. J. Pyke, A biographical dictionary of wax modellers, Oxford 1973, pp. 162-163


Wellcome Collection 34198i

Creator/production credits

Bears no.: Tome III ; Pl. 10 pag. 234


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