Leonardo Da Vinci the Anatomist – Nature Video

Leonardo da Vinci transformed natural sciences by his careful observations, experiments and illustrations. He distinguished himself in the harsh world of the Medici ruled 16th Century Florence in the aftermath of the fall of Constantinople. In this video by Nature Magazine, Senior Curator Martin Clayton exlains three of Leonardo’s most intriguing anatomical studies. Today, Leonardo’s drawings kept in solander boxes in the Print Room in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. A selection of his drawings is on display in the Drawings Gallery of the castle.

Sadly his productions were never published during his lifetime and remained obscured for a long time after his death. Had they been published it would propel science forward and perhaps we would live in a more progressive world. All his writings and illustrations were passed on to his pupil Francesco Melzi, who kept them in his family villa near Milan. After Melzi’s death, the collection was sold to the sculptor Pompeo Leoni (c.1533-1608), who pasted the drawings into the pages of several albums. These were dispersed some time after Leoni’s death in Madrid, and one was brought to England, probably through the agency of Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, who owned the album by 1630. During the Civil War, Arundel left England, and there is no further trace of the Leonardo volume until 1690, when it was rediscovered at Whitehall Palace.



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