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Intracellular mature vaccinia virus, also called intracellular naked virus, and its core envelope have been observed in their native, unfixed, unstained, hydrated states by cryoelectron microscopy of vitrified samples. The virion appears as a smooth rounded rectangle of ca. 350 by 270 nm. The core seems homogeneous and is surrounded by a 30-nm-thick surface domain delimited by membranes. We show that surface tubules and most likely also the characteristic dumbbell-shaped core with the lateral bodies which are generally observed in negatively stained or conventionally embedded samples are preparation artifacts.