Wax Moulages and Votives

My interest in wax began with the full-figure waxes (mostly “Wax Venuses”) at La Specola in Florence and the Josephinum in Vienna. These were not even the earliest waxes, since we see artists like Gaetano Zumbo, Marguerite Bihéron, and others emerge earlier. Wax moulages became common well before photography, but remained arguably more useful than photographs until the 20th century. I was able to visit the moulage collection at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen to see a few. The third image is a self-portait with a moulage showing gout in Cadolzburg. (read more below)


It is more common to see wax used in votives–statues of body parts or whole people made in thanks to God for their survival (though some could also be mementos). The images below show examples from the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg (1st image), the museum of the Basilica Goßweinstein (next 3 images), and the Asamkirche, Ingolstadt (last two images).


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