In Europe, wax models were almost always male, and female bodies were studied for how they differed. And although these models were used for educational purposes, details added to female models also offer a glimpse at European perceptions of gender.
Female models were often referred to as “Venuses” after the goddess of love and beauty. Models, like this one, lay in a passive, almost sexualized poses, with long hair and sometimes even jewelry. Some models even reclined on silk or velvet cushions as if copied from works of art.
Such artistic details served no educational purpose, but highlight the gender norms in European culture at the time.