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Leonardo Da Vincis Heart Sketches.
SourcesHoystad, O.M (2007) "History of the Heart , The Emotional Turn in the High Middle Ages" Reaktion Books: London (p 129- 144)
Benini S, Brizio A, Brugnoli M, Chastel A, Dibner B, Heydenreich L, Marinoni A, Reti L, Winternitz E, Zammattio C. (1974) The Unknown Leonardo . Hutchinson & Co Ltd: London
BBC News Online Article (2005) Da Vinci clue for heart surgeon http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4289204.stm (Accessed on 21/02/2011) Clayton, M (1992) Leonardo Da Vinci: The Anatomy of Man. The Museum of Fine Arts: Houston
O'Malley, C & Saunders, J (1983) Leonardo Da Vinci: Leonardo On The Human Body. Dover Publications INC: New York
Leonardo Da Vinci is well known for his art such as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper . In the same period of painting the Mona Lisa he was also conducting studies into human anatomy such as his Heart Sketches.
Leonardo Da Vinci was born 1452 during the Renaissance period in Florence, which is where the Renaissance was also born.
He was taught by Andrea del Verrocchio who encouraged Da Vinci to draw anatomy. Da Vinci was given permission to dissect bodies for the purpose of drawing at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence where he collaborated with the Doctor MarcantonioDella Torre.
The Renaissance The Renaissance was about the cultural changes in literature, philosophy, art, politics, science and religious theories. He worked in the classic style of the Florentine Early Renaissance. Both Verrocchio and Da Vinci would have been massively influenced by this cultural change. The Black Death killed 30-60% of Europe's population during the start of this era interrupting the renaissance but not stopping it entirely. It had an influence on the Renaissance, reminding them of their mortality; this can be seen in much of their work.
Science and art were very much intertwined within the early Renaissance, with artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci making observational drawings of anatomy and nature.
-Capra, Fritjof, The Science of Leonardo; Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance, New York, Doubleday, 2007.
Symbolism and Background of the Heart
How the Symbolism and Perception of the Heart have Changed over the Years.
Weighing of the heart Ceremony Anubis measures the dead mans heart against the feather of truth. If they balance he would be greeted by Osiris but if not, he would be devoured by a monster which was part crocodile, part lion and part hippopotamus.
Scarab Symbolism http://www.egyptianmyths.net/sc arab.htm Egyptian Heart http://www.egyptianmyths.net/h eart.htm The Feather of Judgement http://www.egyptianmyths.net/fe ather.htm
The oldest culture of the heart comes from the Egyptians. It was believed that the heart determined whether the deceased could rise from the dead in paradise in the afterlife. The wide spread symbol of the heart was the Scarab Beatle which was often carved out of stone or precious metals. These Scarabs were placed on the heart of the mummified deceased so they could be weighted against the feather of judgement the hall of Ma'at during the judgement of the deceased. A heart unburdened with the weight of sin and corruption would balance with the feather and its possessor would enjoy the eternal afterlife. Often they were inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead so the deceased heart does not betray him in judgement. - Do not stand as a witness against me.
The Aztecs 1510 ADThe most precious gift in Aztec theology was human blood, they believed that it is a gift that they give back to the sun to bring heat, light and energy to the world for crops to grow. The blood sacrificed was to please and feed the god Huitzilopochtli, the sun god, to keep the sun moving. The sacrifice was done by removing the heart with volcanic flint in one swift movement carried out by the priest. Once the heart was removed it was held up to the sun as an offering for the gods. The Aztecs knew that blood flowed through the heart meaning that it was precious enough gift to please the gods.
Separation (1900) by Edvard Munch As the founding father of the expressionist movement he conveyed the heart in an emotional sense and its complexity in human nature. Through conveying emotion rather than realism in his painting Separation he shows the split of the hearts forces of light and darkness. Exploring the idea it can give life and create irrational and destructive passions of hate. Munch also created theories of the different centres which human desires revolve, at the centre of these theorise was the image of the heart.
Peter Paul Rubens - The Fall of Icarus (1636)
Henri Matisse - Icarus (1947)
Mirror WritingDa Vinci is famous for his way of writing which can be seen on many of his famous works. For reasons still not officially confirmed he used to write in a code that was hard to decipher in his time period. He was left handed and wrote in reverse so it could only be read through the use of a mirror. He would only write normally is he meant for others to be able to read it. The most common theory for why he might have written his notes this way is that he wanted to keep his work a secret from the Roman Catholic Church who sometimes disagreed with his findings as their teachings would conflict with his observations.
Background on the Heart Sketches. His investigation began in the1490's. The depiction was produced around 1510 while he was in Milan. Many of his heart drawings came from studies of oxen and pig, it wasn't till later in his life he had access to human organs.
He helped our understanding of: Advantages in understanding of blood flow. Showed the heart was a muscle and that it does not warm the blood (as it was originally thought at the time.) The heart has 4 chambers. The left ventricle is connected to the pulse in the wrist. Suggested that arteries fur up over time, creating a health risk later in life. A common belief at the time - Blood was made in the liver cooled in the lungs and pumped by the heart and consumed in the muscles. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/leonardo/gallery/heart.shtml
Influence in Modern ScienceDa Vinci s drawings have shaped medical science even today.
An article that we found shows that Leonardo's sketches has revolutionized medical science even in today's modern society. A surgeon managed to perform life saving heart surgery from studying the intricate details of Da Vinci's work. Heart surgeon Mr. Wells said: " What Leonardo was saying about the shape of the valve was important. It means that we can repair this valve in a better way." It shows that with our new found technology and combining it with Leonardo's understanding of the heart we can achieve new possibilities in medical science. Leonardo had the understanding but not the technology to take his understanding further, so by us looking back at historical documents like the sketches we can change our future.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4289204.st m
LEONARDO FACTS: - Italian artist, scientist and engineer 1452-1519 - His anatomical knowledge came from his post-mortem dissection work, which the Church forbade He disproved the belief that the heart was not a muscle and showed it consists of four chambers and not two, as was commonly held
The Importance of the heart has always been a central part of human culture. It symbolizes life, love and emotion. Although well known for his paintings, such as the Mona Lisa; his anatomy drawings had a more intellectual impact. Da Vinci s observations have carried through history to influence modern day science, medicine and engineering. The Renaissance era was an important time for Da Vinci as it meant his work could later develop into scientific facts that could be used to change peoples understanding of the way the internal anatomy works.
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