Leonardo da Vinci, who lived from 1452-1519, is well known for his anatomical sketches of the human body. He would dissect dead human remains and then draw what he saw. Dissection was completely illegal unless one was a physician, which da Vinci was not. It is believed that da Vinci would get a grave robbers, and eventually a hospital director to get him cadavers to study. da Vinci hid all of this anatomical drawings and kept them secret because of the illegal nature of what he was doing. He was able to identify not only muscles and bones, but also their functions in the body, which was an incredible breakthrough. Sadly, he was not able to share any of this knowledge with others, once again, because of the illegal nature of what he was doing. da Vinci believed only that in which he could observe, which is probably one of the reasons he resorted to dissection to learn more about the human body. He dissected bodies illegally at first, but eventually got special permission from the catholic church to dissect and sketch what he learned for a medical book. This is when he started to use the hospital director to get him bodies. Eventually, the hospital director got much ridicule over doing this and forbade dissections. As an artist and a great mind, da Vinci saw it important enough to ignore the law and study human anatomy via dissections. His deviance led to a better understanding of the human body, and is an important footnote in medical and art history.

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2 thoughts on “Leonardo da Vinci and Dissection

  1. I agree and believe that da Vinci was very ahead of his time. Even with his deviance, he still left a lasting impression on the human anatomy to this day. Therefore, he was able to create something new and prosperous at the result of people telling him that he was “wrong”. What I think is interesting though, is this “right” and “wrong” dynamic. Of course, someone or some institution is going to say something is either or, but in the end, this deviance will always prevail and turn into something good (like da Vinci). So I think it is super funny that in today’s era, people still believe in this “right or wrong” dynamic, when it doesn’t even matter in the end… cause we’ll all be dead.

  2. I think Da Vinci was way ahead of his time. Religion is such a strain and complete setback for the entire race of human’s progress and development. This argument comes down to who says what is right and of course the ‘Church’ will always tell people what they can and cannot do. All the while the ‘Church’ is operating doing these things behind closed doors, not practicing what they preach. Da Vinci’s argument back then wasn’t as strong, but today we see him as a genius.

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