Leonardo’s Unprecedented Work in Science
Leonardo da Vinci was a skilled artist of the Renaissance. He was the painter of several masterpieces that are well-known to this day including the famous “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper.” However, these famous art pieces are not all that da Vinci is remembered for. Along with being a creative artist, Leonardo da Vinci was also an innovative scientist. Leonardo’s unprecedented work in science was apparent in both his studies of anatomy and his various inventions.
One of the ways in which Leonardo was innovative in science was through his studies of anatomy. Leonardo’s fascination with the human body is evident in many of his pieces of art. For da Vinci to be an effective artist he believed he must better understand the body. Da Vinci wasn’t the only artist to have believed this either. Lorenzo Ghiberti was known to have said that “the painter should ‘know anatomy’”(Kemp, Leonardo 92). To get a deeper understanding for the human body and how it worked Leonardo was known to have used comparative anatomy. He did this by drawing pictures of and taking “notes on the anatomy of horses, birds, bats, oxen, pigs, dogs, monkeys, lions, and frogs”(Dictionary Vol. VIII 204). Da Vinci also dissected several of these animals so that he could “compare” their organs to those of humans. Leonardo didn’t favor studying over the actual hands on experience. If he had the choice of dissecting a horse or reading about the dissection of a horse, you better believe he’d choose the dissection over the reading. “His greatest studies of the brain and the heart, […] were based on organs from an ungulate, probably an ox”(Kemp, Leonardo 94). Da Vinci was very interested in the human heart and how it functioned. So to further understand it, he began studying the heart. Leonardo later developed a functioning model of the human heart. This model led to the discovery of the actual size of the atria and ventricles. “He...
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