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Scientific Illustration by Subject: Anatomy

Da Vinci, Leonardo (1452-1519)


The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (Volume 1), by Leonardo Da Vinci

Spectacular Bodies

Spectacular Bodies: The Art and Science of the Human Body from Leonardo to Now
by Martin Kemp, Marina Wallace

"...The human body is an astounding feat of engineering. For centuries man has striven to understand its complexities, both artistically and anatomically, often resorting to human dissection. Illustrating the point at which medicine and art collide, Know Thyself brings together an extraordinary range of more than 250 objects from more than eighty medical and art museums and collections worldwide. Works of art from across the centuries include the anatomical drawings of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Durer, and Stubbs, seventeenth-century portraits of surgeons and paintings by great masters including Rembrandt, Hogarth, Courbet, Gericault, and Degas..."

Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Paintings

Leonardo Da Vinci: The Complete Paintings
by Pietro C. Marani, Leonardo

"In this magnificent book, Pietro Marani, the director of the project to restore Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, presents all the artist's known paintings. The history and significance of each are analyzed at length: we read, for example, that 'from a very early date, Mona Lisa was considered among Leonardo's most extraordinary accomplishments, one that made every other artist tremble and lose heart.' Context is provided by a wealth of related paintings and sketches. The presentation is extravagant: double foldouts show frescoes in their entirety, and small areas are hugely expanded to give access to a world of sensuous detail. The intimacy of these extreme details--a tiny blue landscape glimpsed through a window, or the warm flesh of a baby's foot resting on its mother's arm--is unexpected, and one of the book's many successes.
"Marani combines connoisseurship with the technological tools of art history, such as x-ray exploration of revisions in a painting's underdrawings. He has spent his life studying Leonardo's paintings firsthand, so closely that he can point to where the artist lightly blurred layers of paint with his fingertips to suggest the soft skin around the eyes of his portraits of women. A chapter is devoted to Marani's belief that Leonardo was profoundly influenced by ancient artworks rather than being exclusively the 'modern genius' described by Romantic critics. The research is fully footnoted, with appendices including checklists of paintings and lost paintings and a collection of all known primary documents referring directly to Leonardo's life. From its enigmatic cover (the lips of the artist's exquisite portrait of Ginevra de' Benci) to its extensive bibliography, Leonardo da Vinci comes the closest this reviewer has seen to being the ultimate art book."
--John Stevenson

Leonardo da Vinci - Vitruvian Man (The Proportions of the Human Figure), 1490
Leonardo Da Vinci - Study Battle of Anghiari (Serig)

Also See:
Leonardo Da Vinci: Zoology
The Anatomical Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci: Embryo Illustration
Anatomy: Modern Medicine Begins
A History of Muscles





 

 

 

 

 

 

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