The most incredible example of sadist-surrealist fantasy is to be found among the representations of the various phrases of childbirth and gynaecological operations. A complete model of a patient undergoing a Caesarean section lies with her eyes wide open, her face distorted by pain, her hair impeccable, her calves tied together, dressed in a long, lace nightgown, which is open only at the part of her body which has been cut open by a scalpel, where the baby appears. Four male hands are placed on her body (two operating, two holding her waist): fine wax hands with manicured nails, ghostly hands since they are not supported by arms but adorned only with white cuffs and with the ends of the sleeves of a black jacket, as though the whole ceremony was being held by people in evening dress.
-- Italo Calvino on Dr Spitzner’s life-sized wax model of a caesarean section (above), from his essay ‘The Museum of Wax Monsters’, in Collection of Sand (first published in Italy in 1984, translated into English 2013).
Learn more about--and see many more images of!-- this and many other amazing waxes in the upcoming Morbid Anatomy book The Anatomical Venus, more on which here.