Anatomical wax were originally made to teach anatomy to medical students at a time where it wasn't easy to find corpses for dissection. The models featured in the Natural History Museum "La Specola" in Florence date back to the 17th-18thcentury :
What is she showing us ?
I find it facinating how the artist took th time to recreate the detail of the muscle and bone structure of the thighs, even though that is not the point of this model.
You can see the full set here.
The collection exhibited in the medical school of Bologna was made in th 19th century, and its purpose is to show examples of some particular types of pathologies, and that gives it a more "freakshow" style :
"erectile tumor of the nose"
The full set is here.