We all know that Leonardo da Vinci is a renowned Renaissance artist with incredibly recognizable work: the Mona Lisa, the Vitruvian Man.  But what catches our art-loving eye is his work with anatomy.  Here’s a quick synopsis according to Wikipedia of what his anatomy work entailed:

Leonardo’s formal training in the anatomy of the human body began with his apprenticeship to Andrea del Verrocchio, who insisted that all his pupils learn anatomy. As an artist, he quickly became master of topographic anatomy, drawing many studies of musclestendonsand other visible anatomical features. He studied the mechanical functions of the skeleton and the muscular forces that are applied to it in a manner that prefigured the modern science of biomechanics. He drew the heart and vascular system, the sex organs and other internal organs, making one of the first scientific drawings of a fetus in utero.

He did all this during a time when the Establishment wanted to vilify anybody interested in serious, scientific study of the human body as a heretic. Leonardo is considered to be one of the first true scientists.  He was especially forward in his intense study and beautifully accurate rendering of the human brain, “which he believed was the key to understanding the relationship between the senses and the soul.”He was one of the first to find and map out the ventricles of the brain. We wanted to share some of these staggering works with you.  If you want to learn more about Leonardo’s contribution to neuroscience start here Behind the Canvas.


brain3The brain of an ox injected to demonstrate the shape of the cerecns