Winter 2011 | 3
He published those “well coloureddrawings” in this book with thegoal o “speaking better to the eyeso…readers” – these included ourwonderul coloured plates aboutpustules in cow, horse, sheep andhuman vaccine (real and spurious).The plate about the pustules in thenipples o the cow represented thespontaneous and the pustules inducedby inoculation. The plate about horse‘grease’ aimed to help readers todistinguish this disease rom othersimilar eruptions in horses’ hooves. Theplate dedicated to sheep-pox, a diseasein sheep similar to ‘rogna’ (scabies)or ‘stizza’, highlighted the peculiaract that it particularly aected thesnout. Finally, the plate about humans(let) was probably the most detailedpicture o the time o real and spuriouspustules. It depicted two arms. Therst, on the top, showed the evolutiono real vaccine rom the beginninguntil the cicatrisation o the pustule;the second, at the bottom, representedtwo dierent series o pustules. Theseries above showed the evolution o ‘spurious malignant vaccine’, whereasthe other represented the evolutiono the ‘spurious benignant vaccine’. We have ound a series o anatomical waxes that correspondexactly to the images available inSacco’s treatise in some north Italianhospitals and medical museums. Wehave discovered models in the archiveo the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan(where Sacco started his medicalcarrier), in Bologna’s ‘Cattaneo’sMuseum o Anatomical Waxes’, inPavia’s ‘Museum or the Historyo the University’ and ‘Museum o Pathological Anatomy’, and in Padua’s‘Museum o Pathological Anatomy’. Inthe Museum o Pathological Anatomyo Padua, we ound the completeseries o our models. Each containsthe ollowing legend: “Explanation o the vaccinal preparation contained inthe three tables executed under thedirection o Mr. Pietro Moscati, StateCounsellor Consultant, Dignitary o the Order o Iron Crown, GeneralDirector o the Public Education”.Pietro Moscati was one o themajor gures o political lie during thesecond Cisalpine Republic (1800–1802),the Italian Republic (1802–1805) andthe Kingdom o Italy (1805–1814).Named State Counsellor, Senatoro the Kingdom, General Directoro Public Education and Presidento the Magistrate o Health (rom1805 to 1810), it is easy to understandwhy Moscati created the vaccinationwax models based on Sacco’s plates.Moscati was General Director o Public Education and President o the Magistrate o Health rom 1805to 1810, the period in which Saccowas active and published his books.Moscati had an undoubted interest invaccination because he was the rstpractitioner o the older method o variolation in Milan; in addition, heprobably wrote an anonymous reviewo the Latin translation o Jenner’s
published in Vienna in 1799.But what about the relationshipbetween Moscati and Sacco? Can weregard Sacco as a direct inspiration orthis project? Ater all, Sacco started hismedical career at the Maggiore Hospitalo Milan, where he became Moscati’s“riend” and “scholar”. Moscati carriedout the rst ocial variolation in theMilan charitable institution (‘Ospizio’)o Santa Caterina della Ruota in 1761,and Sacco practised the rst ocial acto vaccination in 1801. Moreover, whenSacco was named General Director o Vaccination in 1801 by the CisalpineRepublic, Moscati was ExecutiveDirector o the government, so we cansay that the presence o Moscati wasessential to Sacco’s nomination. Wecan, thereore, saely iner that Saccoinspired the creation o wax models.In the Old Archive o the Universityo Padua, we have ound a documentthat attests the precise date on whichthe wax models arrived in Paduarom Milan. The document consistso two letters sent by the Preect o the Department o ‘Brenta’ (generaladministration) o the Regiono Padua to the Regent o PaduaUniversity. One o the letters notesthat the Preect received a case on28 October 1807 rom the GeneralDirector o Public Education in Milan,and the descriptions provided inthe letters clearly correspond to themodels still conserved in the PaduaMuseum o Pathological Anatomy.The date o receipt mentioned in thiscorrespondence, 28 October 1807, isvery interesting – it is a period whenSacco was active, but it is beore thepublication o the
Treatise on Vaccine
(1809), where Sacco published the“well coloured” plates, and ater thepublication o the
Memory o Vaccine
(1803), in which Sacco highlightedthe importance o creating platesand wax models. This means thatthe creation and dissemination o the vaccination wax models werean important part o advertisingthe release o Sacco’s treatise.Sacco’s intention was not justto communicate with thinkers – hewas also particularly interested ininteracting with observers. His purposewas to show the specicity o poxpustules in cows, horses, sheep andhumans in order to permit everybodyto recognise them. This specicity washighlighted through the representationo the structure and colour o pustules as they evolved over time. At a time without photography andtelevision, there was no better meanso representation and public healtheducation than the use o ceroplasticsto create models, a technique alreadywidely used or teaching anatomyand pathological anatomy.
Fabio Zampieri and Alberto Zanatta are Researchersand Maurizio Rippa Bonati is a Proessor in the Sectiono Medical Humanities, part o the Department o Medico-Diagnostic Sciences and Special Therapies, atthe University o Padua Medical School.An 1809 etching by Sacco depicting a cow’s udderwith pustules.
A letter rom the Preect o the ‘Brenta’, attestingthe receipt o a case rom Milan or the Universityo Padua.
Old Archive of the Centre for the History of Padua University