Definition of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci: Architect, engineer, inventor, painter and the father of anatomic art. Leonardo da Vinci first became interested when he was asked by a Veronese anatomist named Marc Antonia Della Torre to do the illustrations for a text of anatomy. Della Torre was to do the dissecting and Leonardo the drawings. Della Torre died unexpectedly and Leonardo assumed both tasks. He dissected and drew more than 10 human bodies in the cathedral cellar of the mortuary of Santa Spirito under the secrecy of candlelight, necessitated by the Church's belief in the sanctity of the human body and a papal decree that forbade human dissection. Leonardo recognized that a scientific knowledge of human anatomy could only be gained by dissecting the human body. This was in striking contrast to the pronouncements of Galen and other anatomists. Da Vinci injected the blood vessels and cerebral ventricles with wax for preservation, an anatomical technique still used today. His drawings of the human anatomy have long been considered as unrivaled.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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