Leonardo da vinci

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary

Leonardo da vinci --> Da Vinci, Leonardo

(Science: person) Renaissance artists began to study the human body with great interest and sever their relations from stylised medical art, thus the progress of teaching anatomy was correlated to art. Artists even bought their pigments from the apothecaries and so became closer with the physicians.

a Veronese anatomist, marc Antonia Della Torre (1473-1506), desired to write a text of anatomy which would be the very best ever, and therefore he asked leonardo da vinci to do the drawing while he did the dissecting. This was very progressive until Della Torre passed away unexpectedly, and the plan did not reach maturity.

Leonardo remained interested and then, fascinated with dissecting, he drew over 750 sketches in red chalk which were never put in print, in fact, they were not found for 200 years! Therefore a trained artist and sculptor with a pseudo-medical background, named leonardo da vinci believed that a scientific knowledge of artistic anatomy could only be gained by dissecting the human body, which differed from the thinking of galen and previous anatomists.

this genius (architect, engineer, inventor) dissected some 30 (Da Vinci said more than 10) human bodies in the cathedral cellar of the mortuary of Santa Spirito, under the secrecy of candlelight and conceived about 750 sketches with notes in mirror writing.

Leonardo injected the body blood vessels and cerebral ventricles with wax for preservation, an anatomical technique used today. His accurate drawings have been praised by anatomists, artists and medical illustrationists through the ages. He is the real father of anatomical art.

Because of human body sanctity by the church, and the papal decree forbidding human dissections, Da Vinci's manuscripts were hidden and remained unknown for over 200 years. Leonardo died at Amboise in 1519 at 67 years, while painting for the services of king Francis i of France.

Can you imagine a person, working under the nose of the pope and against his decree, stealing bodies of dead prisoners, dragging them into a church cellar, and studying their contents! The stench of stinking rotten corpses in a hot room without windows night after night, apprehensive of every footstep he heard, being in the presence of the dead, probably three to four cadavers at a time, and then getting rid of these corpses without being caught?

These plans necessitated accomplices to execute them - indeed, devoted priests did so, against their religious belief. Although after his death his notebooks went to his friend Francesco Melzi and some to the Ambroisian library in Milan, many drawings were stolen and got into the hands of other artists who claimed them as their own. (The queen has an outstanding collection of his drawings in the royal library at windsor Castle).

Lived: 1452-1519.