Heart anatomy, 15th century

Heart anatomy, 15th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heart anatomy, 15th century. Historical artwork of the human heart by the Italian artist, engineer and scientist Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Da Vinci dissected 30 cadavers to understand the structure and working of the heart and its valves. The sketch has been annotated with da Vinci's characteristic mirror writing. Leonardo wrote backwards, from right to left but his writing can be read if viewed in a mirror. He also used his own abbreviations and no punctuation. This illegibility ensured that his work remained obscure until the late 19th century.

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