The art of wax modeling can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when it was used for efﬁgies, death masks and portrait miniatures. In Renaissance Italy, Florence, Venice and Naples were among the ﬁrst centers to recognize the possibilities of using wax to imitate human ﬂesh, arguably one of the earliest instances of hyper-realism in art. Some of these studies were portrayed with terrifying realism such as a Cadaver in Decomposition by the Neapolitan Gaetano Guilio Zummo, circa 1695. In later centuries, busts or life-size portraits were created from this pliable material, as were anatomical models, a practice known as moulage.
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