SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This figure study by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), of a nude man as seen from the back, dates from c. 1504-5. This is one of a number of drawings of male nudes strongly emphasising the musculature in various positions and angles. They were made at the time when he was working on a series of anatomical drawings for the cartoon of a proposed mural “The Battle of Anghiari”. Following these early studies, Leonardo proceeded with drawings that combined the anatomy with the physiology of individual parts of the human body, particularly the brain, heart and lungs. He made many important discoveries including an accurate depiction of the human spine. Though during his lifetime his medical investigations in notebooks and manuscripts were never published and were kept private, the accuracy of his drawings forged the basic principles of modern scientific illustrations.
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