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Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist

Explore 87 of the finest of Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical studies


The muscles of the shoulder, torso and leg


Pen and ink, and red chalk | 16.1 x 15.3 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912640

Two studies of a nude man, standing in profile to the right, with his right arm cut off to show the muscles of the side; a scene of a horseman charging at a fleeing man with a shield; a note on the action of the shoulder muscles, and above, a slight sketch of the shoulder and raised arm of the central nude; to the right of the figures is a slight sketch of an arm, extended horizontally; on the extreme right, a man's left leg and hip, viewed in profile to the right. Leonardo often used one sheet of paper to explore several different subjects, in this case a small battle scene, anatomical studies, and written notes. The three anatomical studies on the left-hand side of the page show how the superficial muscles of the torso change when the shoulder is placed in different positions. Leonardo explains his findings in the notes written in his characteristic backwards 'mirror-writing'.

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