Roberta Ballestriero

Roberta Ballestriero
University of the Arts London · Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design

European PhD, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

About

15
Publications
4,270
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72
Citations
Citations since 2016
13 Research Items
72 Citations
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Introduction
Roberta Ballestriero obtained her European PhD from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has lectured in Art History for a number of British Universities since 2004 and she is Art Historian in residence at the Gordon Museum of Pathology, London. Currently she teaches at the University of the Arts, London and at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice. Her research concerns art and science and she spent the last 25 years studying the art of ceroplastics/ wax modelling (with emphasis on the ‘body
Additional affiliations
April 2020 - present
Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia
Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia
Position
  • Lecturer
April 2013 - present
University of the Arts London
Position
  • Lecturer
March 2013 - present
Gordon Museum of Pathology
Position
  • Art Historian in residence
Education
January 2007 - March 2013
Complutense University of Madrid
Field of study
  • Fine Arts, History of Arts
January 2003 - December 2003
University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Cultural Tourism
October 1993 - February 1998
Degree in Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, Italy
Field of study
  • Fine Arts

Publications

Publications (15)
Article
Full-text available
While keeping their original purpose of training medical students, pathology museums hold great biological value, offering unique specimens for scientific research through modern radiological, pathological and biomolecular techniques. Moreover, the artefacts, models and drawings displayed in these museums are a precious cultural and artistic herita...
Article
Wax models of normal and diseased organs were formerly essential medical teaching tools. The ceroplastic heart models from two 19th century pathology museums at the Universities of Florence (n = 8) and Coimbra (n = 10) were analysed. The Florentine collection comprised congenital malformations as well as infectious and inflammatory disorders. The C...
Book
Full-text available
Re-discovered in the 13th – 14th centuries in Florence with the cult of votive offerings, the art of wax modelling or ceroplastics has an ancient origin, from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. It reached its artistic peak during the Renaissance when it was considered the material par excellence for the representation of portraits, sketches and...
Article
in A. Pawłowska-Kubik, E. Izycka-Swieszewska, A. Szarszewski, J. Gulczyński, M. Bukowski, P. Paluchowski, (a cura di), History of Pathology – a meeting point between medicine, art, museum, and a look at the future, 5th International Annual Meeting on History of Pathology and Medicine of the European Society of Pathology, Gdańsk, June 29-30. Gdański...
Conference Paper
Acromegaly is an endocrine-metabolic disease caused by a pituitary gland tumour producing a surplus of growth hormone. Although the etiology has been described in 1909, since the 16th century physicians have been interested in the study of this disease. The "Luigi Cattaneo" Museum of Bologna exhibits the skull, the wax bust and the dry stomach prep...
Article
Several studies have associated the earlobe crease sign, discovered by Sanders T. Frank in 1973, with cardiovascular pathology, yet very few studies have focused on the antiquity of this trait, with the most ancient one thought to date back to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (76 – 138 AD). This article presents two more cases from the Italian Renaissance...
Article
Full-text available
Ceroplastics can offer very realistic and strongly evocative works, arousing sensations that can range from adoration to absolute repulsion. Precisely in this duality resides the proximity of the wax sculpture to the effects of the fantastic: this medium often plays with a semblance of verisimilitude, contrasting reality with the impossible - howev...
Article
Full-text available
The technique of anatomical wax modelling reached its heyday in Italy during the 18th century, through a fruitful collaboration between sculptors and anatomists. It soon spread to other countries, and prestigious schools were created in England, France, Spain and Austria. Paris subsequently replaced Italy as the major centre of manufacture, and ana...
Article
Full-text available
This session examines the relationship between the art and science of anatomy from the time of Vesalius to the present with particular emphasis on the role of the medical artist and the changing nature of anatomical illustration over the last five centuries. Pivotal changes in the art of anatomy will be examined including the evolution of media and...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Archived project
After the pioneering Ceroplastics Congresses (Florence, 1975 and London, 1978) the first in 40 years was held on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of September 2017, at the Gordon Museum of Pathology, King’s College in collaboration with The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers and Madame Tussauds. It was an independent event conceived and organised by Dr Roberta Ballestriero who spent the last 23 years researching the art of ceroplastics (wax modelling) in its different forms. Of ancient origins, the art of ceroplastics or wax modelling was rediscovered in the 13th – 14th century in Italy with the cult of votive artefacts and it is again in Italy that the first anatomical models and scientific collections were developed during the 18th century. Padua is the perfect venue to explore different aspects of this art (religious, secular, scientific).In2019,with the help of many international experts in the field, we will continue to explore the multidisciplinary potentials of this fascinating technique in Art and Science.
Project
Four decades after the pioneering Ceroplastics Congresses (Florence, 1975 and London, 1978), interest in wax modelling is now more intense and has gathered interest from the fields of Anatomy, Art History, Sculpture, Restoration, Conservation and Contemporary Art. On the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of September 2017, for the first time in 40 years, the major institutions related to the art of Ceroplastics or Wax Modelling are going to meet again in an International Congress in London. This time it will be presented by the Gordon Museum of Pathology, King’s College, exploring the multidisciplinary potentials of the art of Ceroplastics in Art and Science.