Dissecting Leonardo's Anatomy


Dissect by Chronology and Style

On the development of Leonardo's anatomical studies:

"Leonardo originally studied the structure of the human body in order to be able to portray it more accurately in his pictures. In this he was not alone: other artists, like his master Verrocchio, also carried out dissections with the scalpel. But in 1488 Leonardo began studying the the inner organs and their functions. His notebooks reveal that by 1515 he had dissected more than thirty corpses of both sexes and of various ages" (Letze 85).

On his early method of scientific study:

"There is no result in nature without a cause; understand the cause and you will have no need of the experiment" (qtd. in MacCurdy 64).

On his later method of scientific study:

"Wrongly do men cry out against innocent experience, accusing her often of deceit and lying demonstrations!" (qtd. in MacCurdy  64).