eonardo Da Vinci is famous as a painter, sculptor and inventor. In reality he was so much more, with the range of topics in his arsenal of knowledge being anatomy, zoology, botany, geology, optics, aerodynamics and hydrodynamics to name a few. He did play a large role in the development of knowledge about anatomy and the human body. He was one of the greatest anatomists of his time, although unrecognized for it during his lifetime. Today-more than five hundred years after it was created, there is probably no more recognizable drawing of the human body than Leonardo's "Vitruvian Man". "Vitruvian Man", although well known, many people still do not know the meaning, or the idea that Da Vinci was trying to portray other than a man with four arms and four legs. The drawing is supposed to represent the same man superimposed in two different positions. Like many things associated with Da Vinci it has a mathematic basis to it. He was attempting to enforce a scientific method using mathematical laws onto the human anatomy. He didn’t just draw the man; he kept notebooks with accurate measures of all of the parts of the body’s proportions, trying to find a universal perfection of proportions. Leonardo's formal training in the anatomy of the human body began with his apprenticeship to Andrea del Verrocchio. The teacher insisted all his students study and learn human anatomy. He quickly became master of topographic anatomy, drawing many studies of muscles, tendons and other visible anatomical features. After he became a successful artist he took his interest even further. After he was given permission by a hospital in Florence, Italy, he began to study the body through dissecting corpses. When Da Vinci performed his dissections he was only allowed to perform them on criminals, very rarely people who died of natural causes. He had to work very quickly and under horrible conditions. The bodies could not be preserved or frozen, because the technology for this did not exist...
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