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Ulster Museum, Belfast

A drawing of a skull viewed obliquely from above and the left, which shows the intracranial nerves and vessels. With notes below on the importance of the cranium as the seat of all nervous activities, in Leonardo’s

Recto: The cranium sectioned. Verso: The skull sectioned: Verso: The skull sectioned ©

Leonardo made greater advances in his study of anatomy than in any other scientific pursuit. In April 1489 he sectioned a human skull to study the relationship between its external and internal structure.

The drawing shows the skull sawn first down the middle, then across the front of the right side. With the two halves juxtaposed, the viewer can locate the facial cavities in relation to the surface features. In the left margin Leonardo drew, described and enumerated the different types of teeth – molar, premolar, canine and incisor.

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