Leonardo's Heart Drawings


One of Leonardo's most important drawings in anatomy, was that of the heart. He was one of the first to describe the heart with four chambers, atria, ventricles, and valves. He discovered that the ventricles and atria would contract at different times to push blood from one area to another. Leonardo, who was also an expert of hydrolics, used his knowledge to understand the importance of the valves. In one experiment Leonardo filled a ox heart with wax, then removed the heart and put glass around the wax to create a glass heart. He filled the glass heart with a seed/water solution to observe the motion of water through the heart. However, fear of the inquisition and other reasons prevented Leonardo from publishing his works.

Works Cited

Sooke, Alastair. “Culture - Leonardo Da Vinci's Groundbreaking Anatomical Sketches.” BBC, BBC, 21 Oct. 2014, Retreived from www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130828-leonardo-da-vinci-the-anatomist.

Sterpetti, Antonio V. “Cardiovascular Research by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452–1519).” Circulation Research, American Heart Association, 17 Jan. 2019, Retrieved from www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.314253.

Associated Place(s)

Image Date: 

circa. Pre-colonial