Leonardo's Anatomy Sketches: 3d?

Leonardo dissected and "autopsied" over 10 bodies. His goal was to understand how the human body functioned and then sketch what he found. He intended to make one of the, if not the first books on anatomy. Although he didn't actually make a book about it, he did leave behind hundreds of highly detailed sketches and notes in his journals.

He was the first to diagnose heart disease. It wasn't just his knowledge that was ahead of his time but the sketches themselves. They haven't been rivaled in detail until modern technology and MRI machines and 3d models. Leonardo wanted to display the human body as if you could literally look inside it,

"If you cut an onion down the center you will be able to see and count all the coatings or rinds that form concentric circles round the center of this onion. Similarly if you cut a man's head down the center you will cut through the hair first, then the skin, and the muscular flesh and the pericardium, then the cranium and within the dura matter and the pia mater and the brain, then the pia dura matter again and the rete mirabile and the bone which is the foundation of these."





The problem with that is as you dissect a single body and want to draw one aspect of it, in the process another section would have to be destroyed to get at it. This is why he had to use more than one body.

"I reveal to men the origin of the first, or perhaps second cause of their existence." 






Leonardo used his futuristic artistic techniques to display different parts of the body in more than one dimension: "if you wish thoroughly to know the parts of man, anatomically, you - or your eye - require to see it from different aspects..." Meaning that he drew it from different perspectives which created an almost "3d model" This wasn't something people even conceived of until hundreds of years later. What I noticed in his art expands on his inventiveness to new levels that haven't yet been appreciated. In the animation I made above it shows what I mean. There is actually a way to process some of his art that will both animate and turn it 3d.. This will be explained further in my book "Discovering Da Vinci's Daughter" (out very soon!) and there is more on my site itsjustlife.com 



"This depicting of mine of the human body will be as clear to you as if you had the natural man before you: and the reason is that if you wish thoroughly to know the parts of man, anatomically, you - or your eye - require to see it from different aspects, considering it from below and from above and from it's sides, turning it about and seeking t he origin of each member; and in this way the natural anatomy is sufficient for your comprehension. 


But you must understand that this amount of knowledge will not continue to satisfy you; seeing the very great confusion that must result from the combination of tissues, with veins arteries, nerves, sinews, muscles, bones, and blood which, of itself tinges every part the same color. And the veins, which discharge this blood, are not discerned by reason of their smallness. Moreover integrity of the tissues, in the process of the investigating the parts within them, is inevitably destroyed, and their transparent substance being tinged with blood does not allow you to recognize the parts covered by them, from the similarity of their blood stained hue; and you cannot know everything of the one without confusing and destroying the other." - Leonardo da Vinci


“Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist”:  Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace Shows from May 4 to October 7 and features 87 anatomical drawings.



"I wish to work miracles; it may be that I shall possess less than other men of more peaceful lives, or than those who want to grow rich in a day. I may live for a long time in great poverty, as always happens, and to all eternity will happen, to alchemists, the would - be creators of gold and silver, and to engineers who would have dead water stir itself into life and perpetual motion, and to those supreme fools, the necromancer and the enchanter.


And you, who say that it would be better to watch an anatomist at work than to see these drawings, you would be right, if it were possible to observe all the things which are demonstrated in such drawings in a single figure, in which you, with all you cleverness, will not see nor obtain knowledge of more than some veins, to obtain a true and perfect knowledge of which I have dissected more then ten human bodies, destroying all the other members, and removing the very minutest particles of the flesh by which these veins are surrounded, without causing them to bleed, excepting the insensible bleeding of the capillary veins. And as one single body would not last so long, since it ws necessary to proceed with several bodies by degrees, until I came to an end and had a complete knowledge; this I repeated twice, to learn the differences.

And if you should have love for such things you might be prevented by loathing, and if that did not prevent you, you might be deterred by the fear of living in the night hours in the company of those corpses, quartered and flayed and horrible to see. And if this did not prevent you, perhaps you might not be able to draw so well as is necessary for such demonstration; or, if you had the skill in drawing, it might not be combined with knowledge of perspective; and if it were so, you might not understand the methods of geometrical demonstration and the method of the calculation of forces and of the strength of the muscles; patience also may be wanting, so that you lack perseverance. As to whether all these things were found in me or not, the hundred and twenty books composed by me will give verdict yes or no. In these have been hindered neither by avarice nor neligence, but simply by want of time." - Leonardo da Vinci


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