The Corruption of the Body
Circle of Gaetano Giulio Zumbo (1656-1701)
18th century, Polychrome wax
Gaetano Giulio Zumbo (or Zummo) is certainly the most important artist to have worked exclusively in wax. His ability to combine meticulous anatomical accuracy with complex depictions, emulating Baroque painting thanks to a skilful use of colour, meant that his deathly theatres served as indispensable models and points of comparison for subsequent waxworkers. This sculpture, datable to the early 18th century and possibly part of a larger composition, was placed on a papier-mâché and wood base most likely made in a monastic setting in the first half of the 19th century. Despite its undoubted quality, it cannot be definitively attributed to Zumbo.