In some ways Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) appears to be very traditional. He worked as an apprentice in a workshop to develop his craft. He studies ancient sources such as Plato and Aristotle and Galen. He conducted experiments to justify his research.
Leonardo Da Vinci's studies of the human anatomy are a small, but significant fraction of his artistic and scientific experiments. Through observation, literature, and even dissections, Leonardo Da Vinci created a wide portfolio of studies on the human body. The more closely we examine the system underlying Leonardo's study of the body however, the more clearly we recognize its originality. Where earlier authors had relied almost exclusively on verbal descriptions, Leonardo emphasizes the significance of visual descriptions. This paper will give an overview of the history of Leonardo's anatomical studies, beginning in the workshop of Verrochio. It will then examine how the influences of his life shaped his understand and approach to anatomical studies. It will lastly examine one of Leonardo's most famous studies about the human body that emphasized the idea of Renaissance humanism.
[...] As we examine the history of Leonardo studies on anatomy one thing is pervasively obvious: Leonardo represented the ideals of a Renaissance man in almost everything he did and this was no exception. His studies on anatomy are approached by the duality of both an artist and a scientist namely. Leonardo's studies on the body left a legacy of notes and drawings and there is no doubt that Leonardo consistently understood the ideals of Renaissance humanism in his studies. Vitruvian Man Perhaps the most famous representation of human anatomy that Leonardo ever created was the Vitruvian man in the year 1487. [...]
[...] As noted form the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, true science cold be acquired through the following steps : Experience the world around us as gained through the senses as a starting point. 2.) Reason and contemplation , which, though linked through the senses, stands above and outside of them , deduced external and general laws from transitory and particular experiences. 3.) The laws must be demonstrated though a logical sequence and 4.) They must be tested and verified by experiment” (Richter, 1998). [...]
[...] These techniques not only helped create a more realistic representation of Leonardo's studies on anatomy but they merged his two rivaling expertise: science and art. Perhaps one of the most significant developments in his study of anatomy during this second Florentine period was Leonardo's shift in support from the Aristotelian perspective to the Galenic. After the dissection of a man who claimed to be 100 years old (known as the centenarian in his diaries), Leonardo rejects the Aristotelian perspective that the heart acts as the primary blood-making organ in the body. [...]
[...] Influences on Leonardo's Anatomical Studies We know that Leonardo read a great deal about anatomy and the workings of the human body from fellow scholars, namely Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Galen. Hippocrates had developed the Four Humors Theory to which it is known that Leonardo read and contemplated his works. Aristotle's teachings supports that the heart was at the center of the body and some of Leonardo's writing suggest he sided with this understanding. Alternatively, Galen believed that the liver was the blood generating organ and Leonardo would change his alliance between he two beliefs through out his career. [...]
[...] In 1479 the sketch (Figure that Leonardo made of the dead Bandino Barconcolli (Who was persecuted for his role in the failed conspiracy) examined the anatomy of the dead man who was hung from a window at Palazzo della Signoria. (O'Malley). In this time surrounding the persecution and execution of Barconelli, Leonardo also met an important Milanese ruler who would later become the patron to Leonardo's many masterpieces in Milan. Picture: < http://en.easyart.com/canvas-prints/Leonardo-da-Vinci/Study-of-a- Hanged-Man%27%27-Bernardo-Baroncelli-302220.html> Anatomical Understandings In The First Milanese Period Lodovico Sforza (also know as Lodovico il Morro) was the Duke of Milan when Leonardo left Florence to come to Venice in 1482. [...]
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