In addition to about 3400 preparations and 1300 anatomical models used by the professors of the Faculty of Medicine for lessons and exercises, the Museum of Human Anatomy “Filippo Civinini” preserves valuable archaeological collections, including an Egyptian mummy with sarcophagus, funerary objects and pre-Columbian vases, collected by the medical scholar Carlo Regnoli in the mid-nineteenth century.
The museum’s exhibition is completed by the “Galleria dei Busti”, with plaster casts of ancient anatomists, and above all by the “Galleria Mascagni”, where Paolo Mascagni’s anatomical plates are exhibited, among the most monumental works ever published. In fact, they are 44 enormous watercolor plates, extraordinary for their precision and richness of detail, which represent a life-size man about 1.75 cm tall (tall for the average of those times). Just think that three plates are necessary to draw him in all his height.
Pisa was one of the first university cities to have an Anatomical School: the teaching of Human Anatomy began at the behest of Cosimo I dei Medici who had an Anatomical Theatre built. In that period, the famous Andrea Vesalio (1514-1564), considered the father of modern anatomy, was called to Pisa to carry out dissections. This was the basis for the birth of the Museum of Human Anatomy.
From 1834 Filippo Civinini, to whom the museum is dedicated, continued the work of arrangement and cataloging and inaugurated it with the name Gabinetto Anatomico, in view of the First Meeting of Italian Scientists, held in Pisa in 1839.
The Museum of Human Anatomy is part of the University of Pisa Museum System and of the Pisa Museum Network.