For artists and students alike, da Vinci's anatomical drawings are a yardstick for artistic and medical depictions of the body
Leonardo da Vinci created many of the most beautiful and important drawings in the history of Western art. His anatomical drawings became the yardstick for the early study of the human body. From their unique perspectives as artist and scientist, brothers Stephen and Michael Farthing analyze Leonardo's drawings--which are concerned chiefly with the skeletal, cardiovascular, muscular and nervous systems--and discuss the impact they had on both art and medical understanding.
In addition, Stephen has created a series of drawings in response to Leonardo, which are reproduced with commentary by Michael, who also provides a useful glossary of medical terminology. Together, they reveal how some of Leonardo's leaps of understanding were nothing short of revolutionary and, despite some misunderstandings, attest to the accuracy of his grasp. Leonardo da Vinci
(1452-1519) was born in Florence and studied with the renowned painter Verrocchio, qualifying as a "master" at the age of 20 in 1472. After his apprenticeship he worked for Ludovico il Moro, later moving to Rome, Bologna and Venice before settling in France, where his final three years were spent in the service of François I.
About the Author
Michael Farthing is professor emeritus at the University of Sussex and chair of the Charleston Trust, the Brighton West Pier Trust, and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund. He has written many scientific papers and co-authored and edited more than twenty medical books, including Leonardo da Vinci: Under the Skin.
Stephen Farthing is the Rootstein Hopkins research professor in drawing at the University of the Arts, London.