Museo Anatomico Veterinario (Veterinary Anatomy Museum)

The Veterinary Anatomy Museum is part of the University Museum Network (SMA). It was gradually formed over time t with the precise intention of documenting the anatomical features of the species of domestic animals bred for economic purposes. The museum was born with the teaching of anatomical discipline in Pisa. It shared with it the vicissitudes of history and was affected by the technical innovations that have occurred in the use of museum conservation materials and in the use of educational means.

The first official teaching of veterinary art began in 1818 and was held by Vincenzo Mazza privately, in spite of the fact that in Pisa, already in the 18th century, two hippologists had worked for a long time and had written treatises on that were known in Europe at that time (Nicolò Rosselmini – patrician from Pisa, Superintendent General of the Grand Duchy’s Imperial Stables and Racing, and Baron D’Eisemberg, a nobleman of German origin – Director of the Imperial Stables and First Knight of the Academy of Pisa).

Vincenzo Mazza, former Veterinarian of the Napoleonic Grand Army, had graduated in Veterinary Medicine in Milan. At the fall of the emperor, following the Prince of Canosa, he arrived in Pisa where he took the position of Veterinary of the Pisan Community. Here he graduated in Medicine and opened his own school of Veterinary Medicine in Via La Tinta, in the district of San Martino. For practical and anatomical demonstrations Mazza also used horses from the military garrison of the Citadel and involved the teachers of the University of Pisa, such as Gaetano Savi for teaching botany.

In 1821, still in the retinue of the Prince of Canosa, Mazza moved to Naples and the Pisan teaching gradually came to an end. In 1839 Melchiorre Tonelli da Fivizzano received from Gaetano Giorgini, the Re-ordinator General of Studies of the Grand Duchy, the assignment of a chair of Zooiatria aggregated to the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Pisa. The definitive rootedness of the study of Veterinary Medicine was in 1859 with Cosimo Ridolfi, Minister of Education of the Provisional Government of Tuscany. From this moment on, the veterinary teaching consolidated and expanded rapidly. In 1874, the Museum was housed in a land adjacent to the Spedali Riuniti di Santa Chiara, close to the Macelli Pubblici and the Stalloni depot.

In this way, the Royal School of Veterinary Medicine was founded, under the direction of the University (1875).
In the Cabinet of Anatomy, later called Institute of General and Descriptive Anatomy of Domestic Vertebrates, space is reserved for the Anatomical Museum.
Here are housed the anatomical preparations inherited from previous periods and dating back to the teaching of Mazza, in addition to those of Professor Luigi Lombardini and his students: Chiappa, Antonini, Stampani and Bossi.
Virginio Bossi, an expert anatomical preparer particularly interested in blood vessels, took over the direction of the Institute of Anatomy the year after Lombardini’s death, in 1898, and maintained it until 1903, the year in which he began to dedicate himself to surgery.
He was succeeded by Ugo Barpi (1903-1925), belonging to the School of Veterinary Medicine of Naples.
Only in 1934 the Anatomical Museum found its definitive location with the birth of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.