|The Museum of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid surges in the
Royal School of Surgery of San Carlos, created by Royal Order in 1787 by Carlos III.
In the concourses celebrated for the construction of the building appears in them the
place destined to Anatomical Cabinet (1806-1830).
In the report emitted by the director of the Royal School, Mr. Antonio Gimbernat in December of 1794, he says in one of their paragraphs
" The formation of the anatomical and pathological cabinet that responsibility very close in the ordinances, is very early, so in pieces natural prepared simple, like in artificial of wax. From these last are counted 57 today, worked all outstanding under the immediate and personal inspection of the Director Mr. Antonio of Gimbernat, to whose expense put on exclusively this part for order of His Royal Majesty.
Between them deserve special attention the collection of those that
represent the diverse states of pregnancy from the conception until the childbirth, the
several positions of the fetus within the womb, and their communication with the mother:
circumstances all basic for the success in the experience of the childbirths, and in this
collection are presented superficially and to the natural. For complement of this
material several pieces are being concluded in wax that they manifest the progresses of
the natural childbirth and all the species of the almost real works so this
collection could take place now between them celebrated from Europe.
In 1799 (12 of March) the immediate antecedent of the current Faculty of Medicine of
our University is constituted, upon unitting the School of Surgery and the of Medicine
Practices . In April, the 20th was created the Gathered Faculty by the Meeting of
Government. Diverse problems concurred in the newly created Faculty, motivated many of
them for the hapless reign of Carlos IV, French occupation and beginning of the
reign of Fernando VII, but in all this period always there has been mention, in the
different dispositions to the use, to content and budget of the Anatomical Cabinet, as the
reference to that has demonstrated in the Royal Identification of 1828 destined to
regulate the regimen and government of the Schools of Medicine and Surgery.
For the realization of one of the first feature of the Cabinet under direction of Ignacio
Lacaba , first like person in charge of disection and after like Professor of Anatomy,
worked two sculptors: Juan Cháez and the italian Franceschi, pupil of Fontana,
specialized in making feature of wax and to who the figure in wax of a pregnant that
exists in the Museum is attributed to. This figure is the one which refers Lacaba
in their "Complete Course of Anatomy of the Human Body", published with Bonells
in 1796, in this treaty is described the technique of the realization of the figures in
wax. All, or most they of them are yet in the museum appointed to the Department of
Human Anatomy and Embryology I.
In 1840 a new ordinance implants the norm of donating for the Anatomical
Museum inheritage the disecting pieces interesting for their rarity or
difficulty. This was the motive of that both Departments of Anatomy, the second was
created in 1847, have specify budget destined to the Museums. The appointment of Pedro
González de Velasco like Director of the Anatomical Museum in 1857 made that the
museum reach its time of greater splendour, Not only the figures of wax were restored but
rather disection pieces were produced and an excellent osteotheque was
In 1876 when Julián Calleja, Professor of Anatomy, was Dean, the Museum
were free openned to the students of the Faculty. Calleja in their report of the
year 1876 describes the Anatomical Department organization:
In the box dedicated to this last he comments: "There are two, one formed by natural pieces and another for artificial pieces.." and in the one which makes reference to the natural museum divided in 18 sections writes: "Between all these sections contain more than thousand pieces, of those that deserve to fix the attention. and some mummified cadavers in who the thoracic and abdominal viscera appear translocated".
When he refers to the artificial museum, also divided in 18 sections cites:
The Collection of pieces could compete with the better of all the countries, deserving special mention the representation of the sympathetic major, four statues of natural size that represent all the bones, articulations, muscles and arteries, and the precious section of natural childbirths."
Besides these museums there was another named Iconographic that is
referenced by Calleja and contains thousand hundred sheets, placed in squares of
crystals, forming the following groups: Osteology, Syndesmology, Myology, Neurology,
In 1885 The Anthropological Museum of the Faculty of Medicine was founded by Oloriz Aguilera, and he deposited their collection of craniums that he had begun in 1884 with 14 pieces and reached 2250 pieces. The majority of these craniums had their filiation written on them and the most excellent data in a card with all the pertinent data. This museum was installed by Calleja in 1893 in the old Lecture Theatre of the Faculty .
The craniums of this Museum according to the picked up information were
divided in three parts when the Faculty of Medicine moves to Ciudad Universitaria,
allotting them of unequal form between the two Departments of Anatomy and Legal and
During the last years, the future of the museum would be very uncertain
without the selfsacrificing work and constant effort, although not always
reconiced, of Professor Puerta Fonollá, who until their unexpected decease,
supported the hope of placing the Museum as high as their backgrounds.
At the present is being carried out the inventory and restoration of all the existent
pieces in the Museum or in the deposits of the Department. This behavior is thanks to the
grants facilitated by the Social Advice of the Complutense University, the Education
Council of the Community in the Autonomous Community from Madrid and the resolved support
of the Museums and Patrimony Section corresponding to the Complutense University
Raised from the Royal School of Surgery of San Carlos
Pregnant. Wax Figure Attributed Juan Cháez and Franceschi under Lacaba direction
Gigante Extremeño and French Grenadier skeletons
Waxes Collection. 1993, Photography: Rosamond Purcell.
Plasters Collection : Division of the abdominal aorta and the constitution of the inferior cava vein . Plaster reconstruction.
Papier-mâché collection. Photographer: Rosamond Purcell, 1993.
Fetuses Collection: Peaceful baby in bottle. Photographer: Rosamond Purcell, 1993. (Suspended Animation - Six Essays on preservation of bodily parts. González-Curssi. Ed. Hartcourt Brace).
Oloriz Collection: Skulls behind glass in sunlight. Photorgapher: Rosamond Purcell, 1993. (Suspended Animation - Six Essays on preservation of bodily parts. González-Curssi. Ed.Hartcourt Brace).
Heart. Cut panorganografic of the human heart. Gómez Oliveros - Rhode.
Royal Order of creation of the Royal School of San Carlos.