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April 28, 1962


JAMA. 1962;180(4):324-325. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050170056014

Leonardo, born in the Tuscan village of Vinci, is j probably most famous as the painter of "The Last Supper" on the refectory wall of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan and the "Mona Lisa," which hangs in the Louvre. Less well known are his anatomical drawings,1 notes on physiology, and comments on disease.2 Leonardo was self-educated in physiology and anatomy. His anatomical dissections and illustrations compare favorably, however, with those of Vesalius on the structure of the human body, whose contributions were made several decades later. Leonardo also preceded Harvey by more than a century, making reference meanwhile to a physiologic concept of pulsing of the blood, possibly a premonition of the concept of circulation. Leonardo possessed insatiable curiosity, limitless intellectual energy, and a great capacity for designing mechanical devices. Although it has been claimed that none of his concepts, inventive studies, or contributions

O'Malley, C. D., and Saunders, J. B. de C. M.:  Leonardo da Vinci on the Human Body , New York: Henry Schuman, 1952.
Belt, E.:  Leonardo the Anatomist , Lawrence, Kan.: University of Kansas Press, 1955.
McCurdy, E.:  The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci , New York: George Braziller, 1955.
Belt, E.:  Manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci , Los Angeles: The Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana, 1948.
Braunfels-Esche, S.:  Leonardo da Vinci, Das Anatomische Werk , Stuttgart, Germany: Friedrich-Karl Schattauer-Verlag, 1961.