Wax

Beeswax, and now synthetic wax, is used for sculpture because of its translucency, its ability to record fine details, and the ease with which it can be coloured. It was very suitable for portraits and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was used to make replicas of the human anatomy for use in medical schools. It is malleable and can be freely worked with the fingers and hot metal tools, making it popular for making models as in the lost-wax casting technique. It is also used as a protective coating on wood sculpture and can be coloured and brought to a high polish for bronze sculpture.

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Charles Townshend, attributed to Isaac Gosset, circa 1750-1767 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Charles Townshend
attributed to Isaac Gosset
circa 1750-1767
NPG 1756

Henry Seymour Conway, by Isaac Gosset, 1760 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Henry Seymour Conway
by Isaac Gosset
1760
NPG 1757

Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Princess Royal, attributed to Peter Rouw, circa 1795 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Princess Royal
attributed to Peter Rouw
circa 1795
NPG 2174

Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, after John De Vaere, (1798) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe
after John De Vaere
(1798)
NPG 3313

James Watt, by Peter Rouw, 1802 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

James Watt
by Peter Rouw
1802
NPG 183

William Pitt, by Peter Rouw, 1809 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

William Pitt
by Peter Rouw
1809
NPG 1747

Warren Hastings, by Peter Rouw, 1806 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Warren Hastings
by Peter Rouw
1806
NPG 5065

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, by Samuel Percy, 1814 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales
by Samuel Percy
1814
NPG 3086

Richard Reynolds, by Samuel Percy, circa 1817 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Richard Reynolds
by Samuel Percy
circa 1817
NPG 4674

James Meadows Rendel, by Richard Cockle Lucas, 1852 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

James Meadows Rendel
by Richard Cockle Lucas
1852
NPG 5902

Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, by Robert Glassby, cast by  John Theodore Tussaud, (1881) 1933 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield
by Robert Glassby, cast by John Theodore Tussaud
(1881) 1933
NPG 2655

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