The True Story of Smugglerius

On 12 April 1776, a man was hanged at Tyburn by order of the Court of Criminal known as the Old Bailey. The man was James Langar.

His body was used by Sir William Hunter, first Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy of Art Schools in London, to make an anatomical model then used on lessons with his students.
In that times the bodies of criminals were used for dissections and anatomical investigations. William Hunter commissioned to the painter and sculptor Agostino Carlini an actual model using the exact pose of the Dying Gaul also knows as Galata Morente. The roman marble copy, from a lost original hellenistic bronze by the sculptor Epigono of 230 b.C., today is exhibited in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. This is one of the most famous roman sculpture too.

We know that most of the bodies destined to the practice of flaying, to get ecorchè, were of smugglers and men serving their sentences in forced labor camps. So, the students, who for some reason identified the body as that of a smuggler, named the anatomical model as Smugglerius in a original Neo-Latin term.
This identification of the body of a smuggler led to a series of confusions, in fact up to few years ago it was thought that Smagglerius was one of the bodies of two smugglers hanged just few days after the hanging of James Langar. Only a recent study has led to the right conclusion.

Agostino Carlini modeled an anatomical model making a plaster mold on the body flayed, perfectly composed with the pose of the famous roman statue. The mold was also useful to make a wax model then cast in bronze with lost wax process.

William Pink, Plaster Cast after Agostino Carlini & William Hunter bronze, 1834.
The Royal Art Academy in London.

Chapman & Hall, Plaster Cast, after 1901.

Drawing by William Linnell, 1840.  Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Cast of the Dying Gaul (reduction) available on our Catalog.