Vesalius: 500 Years of Innovation: Leonardo da Vinci

This LibGuide documents an exhibition that ran at the Marriott Library from July 11, 2014 to October 3rd 2014

Leonardo: Anatomist

Leonardo da Vinci Embryo Studies c.1510 - Photo by Luc Viatour /

From the Exhibition

The images on display by Leonardo da Vinci can be found in the following volume at the Marriott Library:

Leonardo: Anatomist

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was an Italian artist, scientist, and inventor best known for paintings like the Mona LIsa and The Last Supper. However, in recent years Leonardo has come to be recognized for his exploration in fields like Botany, Engineering, and Anatomy. Thousands of pages from his personal notebooks reveal that he was a man of many talents and ambitions who wished to make an impact on the world, but his wide variety of interests kept him from publishing in any given field. However, if he were to have published a treatise, Anatomy would have been high on the list.

Leonardo's anatomical studies began as a pursuit to paint as 'close to nature' as possible. At the time, though it was considered taboo to dissect human bodies, it was felt that you could not paint accurately without detailed knowledge of the deep anatomical structures. So, sometimes in secret and later with official permission, Leonardo would dissect and study corpses when the opportunity arose. Eventually the master had created so many drawings and had accumulated so much knowledge that he formulated a plan to write a stand-alone treatise on the subject. He died before the project was complete but we still have many of the beautifully accurate drawings to admire to this day.

Leonardo Resources

The Marriott Library has an extensive collection of books, journal articles, and images related to Leonardo da Vinci and his anatomical studies. The few references below are simply suggestions on getting you started.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library