Greatest Anatomist

Best Essays
Leonardo Da Vinci is famous as a painter, sculptor and inventor. In reality he was so much more, with the range of topics in his arsenal of knowledge being anatomy, zoology, botany, geology, optics, aerodynamics and hydrodynamics to name a few. He did play a large role in the development of knowledge about anatomy and the human body. He was one of the greatest anatomists of his time, although unrecognized for it during his lifetime.

Anatomical studies were primarily for the purpose of better depiction of the human body and presumably went no further than a study of the superficial structures. Da Vinci’s acquaintance with anatomy in the beginning would be that of the artist, and it must be remembered that his fame was gained primarily as an artist. Leonardo was different from others of his time not because he was the man who could do all but because of the distances to which he pursued many interests and thereby the contributions which he was sometimes able to make. While it is doubtful that Leonardo ever thought of himself as an anatomist, and certainly he never acquired a discipline in that study, yet it is noteworthy that he pushed his investigation far beyond the point of artistic usefulness; and it is believed that Leonardo thought of these studies as a separate discipline rather than auxiliary to art. (Squeri, 8)

While in Milan, Da Vinci spent a considerable amount of time on a number of dissections of the horse in preparation for a statue. While the bulk of the drawings on the anatomy of the horse are of the surface anatomy, and drawn by Leonardo in the guise of the artist, there are nevertheless some detailed ones illustrating the muscles of the horse's thigh compared to the corresponding muscles of man, suggesting that ...

... middle of paper ...

...he centenarian and Leonardo's statement of having dissected a child of two years, while in Florence; (3) dissection of a human fetus c.7 months; (4) the dissection of the series in Fogli A which seems to have been that of an elderly man and perhaps the body of a younger individual, (5) perhaps a leg.

Works Cited

Ackerman, James. "Leonardo Da Vinci: Art in Science." Daedalus 127.1 (1998): 207-224. Web. 26 May, 2010.

K, A. "Leonardo Da Vinci as Anatomist." British Medical Journal 1.3673 (1931): 950-951. Web. 26 May 2010.

Morley, Brian. "The Illustrations of Leonardo Da Vinci." Burlington Magazine 121.918 (979): 553-562. Web. 26 May 2010.

Ochenkowski, H. “The Quatercentenary of Leonardo Da Vinci.” Burlington Magazine 34.194 (1919): 186-203. Web. 26 May 2010.

Squeri, Robert. "Leonardo Da Vinci: Innovator." Art Education 14.9 (1961): 6-15. Web. 26 May 2010.
Get Access