Discovery of Anatomy through Art

Leonardo da Vinci showed a great artistic ability at a young age. Da Vinci’s father, Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, took note of his son’s skill and when da Vinci turned 15 years old, sent him to apprentice renowned artist Andrea del Verrocchio. It was here that da Vinci began his anatomical studies.

 Verrocchio had a studio in Florence where he taught many artist in addition to da Vinci. As part of the apprenticeship, Verrocchio made all of this students study anatomy to assist them in depicted human bodies realistically, which was popular during the Renaissance. Da Vinci studied structure, function, and proportions of the body, using his sharp eye to depict startingly life-like sketches.  But da Vinci took his work studying human form and took it many steps further. Da Vinci’s curiosity lead him to more research looking at the functions of body systems. He performed several dissections to study the internal body. Da Vinci sketched countless drawings and wrote pages and pages of notes. These sketches and notes could have on his research that could have changed the subject of anatomy had they have been published.



Gunter, P. (2006) Andrea del Verrochio: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Heydenreich, L.H. (2019) Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomical Studies and Drawings. Encyclopedia Britannica.

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