Friday, August 30, 2013

Leonardo's Genius

Da Vinci's anatomical dissection of an embryo

He may be renowned for masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, but Leonardo da Vinci is also one of the greatest anatomists the world has seen. His intricate knowledge of the human body, which was years ahead of his time, is demonstrated in a collection of notebooks which he filled with detailed studies of organs, bones, vessels and muscles using new illustrative techniques. The collection of notebooks, which date between 1452 and 1519, chart much of the Italian renaissance artist's groundbreaking studies of the human body. These notebooks are presently being exhibited in Edinburgh, Scotland until November 10. Curators say his work foreshadows modern techniques like MRI scans and 3D computer modeling 'to an astonishing degree'. Da Vinci began researching the human body to ensure his paintings were as true to nature as possible. Between 1507 and 1513 he dissected more than 30 human corpses, including that of a 100-year-old man.

Da Vinci's notes on the human hand
Leonardo da Vinci is best known for his stunning artwork but the Italian Renaissance painter had many talents. He was also a sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. Only around fifteen of his paintings survive because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Leonardo is also revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull, also outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. But everyone agrees that the artist mostly known for the Mona Lisa, was a genius, way ahead of his time.

No comments:

Post a Comment