Antelogium :

For accuracy of representation, Leonardo Da Vinci's figures on the muscular system are among his best illustrations. His interest is primarily that of an artist concerned with the influence of the superficial muscle masses on surface modeling as indicated by the large number of drawings relating to this subject, and seldom does he penetrate very far below the surface. This initial interest is later extended to the action of muscles and physiological problems. It is noteworthy that almost all the dissections are dated between 1505-10, and that the great majority of the material is human.

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. "

Medieval Morgue notes : Ancient Post mortem notation on vellum.
     Fantasy  \Autopsy \Dissection \Necropsy| updated 07/06/05
I Started reworking an old Da-Vinci study of mine after It Got me thinking about the 'hands on' aspect of experimental human disection ( It gave me an excuse to read and admire Leonardo da Vinci on the Human Body: The Anatomical, Physiological, and Embryological Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.)
and pondering Leo sketching to accurately record in realistic form the anatomical mechanics of humankind.

Typically I'm trying to give my version a more sinister look ( I still need to brown off the spinal sketches to give the appearance of desiccated blood ) as well as suggesting something about the human body just being a piece of meat....

The earliest anatomical drawings by Leonardo Da-Vinci are attributed to c.1487. On the basic of these drawings certain facts become manifest. It is apparent that his knowledge of anatomy was acquired by reading traditional writers such as Avicenna and Mundinus, by some animal dissection and by surface inspection of the living human. This answers queries regarding errors which are rectified later when it is known he had access to human materials...

A comment on one of Leonardo's anatomical sketches regarding his artwork's effectiveness :
" knowledge that is impossible for ancient or modern writers to convey without an infinitely tedious example and confused prolixity of writing and time "

Leonardo da Vinci’s incomplete and unpublished sketchbooks were disbanded after his death and remained largely unknown for almost three hundred years.

It is impossible to speculate on the effect on medicine and anatomical texts had they been retained...
  " Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous. "

 -- Leonardo da Vinci

Artwork Details :
     Artists Description and comments relating to characters and concepts.
Client : Personal scribble/anatomy study.
Pencil Sketch (on Cartridge) 20cm by 28cm :
Graphite, gouache, tea and Hemoglobin on cartridge paper,
based on a far superior piece by Leonardo da Vinci.
Expanded and Enhanced in Adobe Photoshop 2005 a.d

Design Notes :
being a fanatical bibliothecary, ancient grimoires and writings just give me a warm fuzzy feeling...mmmmm old book smell.
Soundtrack (music to draw to) : Dead Can Dance - Aion

Additional Notes on 'Leo' :

Most of the drawings are based fundamentally upon the dissection of the centenarian. Leonardo's early dependence upon spare living subjects led him to the conception that muscles such as the deltoid, pectoralis major, etc., are compound or multiple muscles, and this explains his division of these muscles in dissection into multiple fasciculi. Logically he extends these ideas to the production of cord diagrams. While it is true that the presentation of muscles, as in the case of the series on the upper extremity, viewed from every aspect, is indicative of his very considerable imaginative skill, yet in the representation of the abdominal muscles Leonardo is still relying upon tradition. As mentioned above, almost all the studies of muscles are from the period 1505-10, and it was during this period that he had come into possession of Galen's De usu partium. It is suspected that Leonardo derived much profit from this work, especially regarding his consideration to antagonistic muscle function, and it may have been the cause of his very considerable preoccupation with the problems of respiration and the action of the intercostal muscles. It is extremely difficult to attempt any comparison between the treatment of muscles by Leonardo and contemporary physicians since myology was at the time one of the most poorly understood aspects of anatomy. Among the difficulties plaguing any study of the muscle structure was the lack of any proper myological nomenclature. Few of the muscles were specifically named, and the result was constant confusion of identity which bothered Leonardo no less than the medical fraternity...

Myology of the trunk
Surface modeling of the muscles of the back end upper arm. Leonardo's figures illustrating the surface modeling produced by the underlying muscles were doubtless intended for the instruction of artists. One would judge that they were not drawn entirely from the living model since they reflect features derived from his method of dissection. Thus we observe the deltoid muscle divided into several distinct elements indicating the artificial divisions which he made with the knife. These exaggerations are frequent in studies of this type. However, Leonardo was aware of the differences in surface contours produced by accumulations of fat and intended to illustrate these differences as indicated in the note below.
"The most prominent parts of thin individuals are most prominent in the muscular and likewise in the fat. But the difference which exists in the shape of the muscles of the fat as contrasted with the muscular will be described below". The remaining notes are memoranda outlining future procedures.
"You will make the rule and the measurement of each muscle and give the reason of all their uses, in what manner they work and what moves them, etc. First make the spine of the back; then clothe it step by step with each of these muscles, one upon the other, and put in the nerves, arteries and veins to each individual muscle; and in addition to this, note to how many vertebrae they are Attached, and which intestines are opposite to them and which bones and other organic instruments, etc". The phrase "organic instruments" is Galenical and had special meaning to mediaeval anatomists, corresponding approximately to present concepts of functional systems. Thus the eye was regarded not only as an organ but when taken together with all structures pertaining to it, constituted the instrument of sight.

1983 Dover Republication of Leonardo on the Human Body: The Anatomical, Physiological, and Embryological Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. ISBN: 0-486-24483-0

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Bib·li·oth·e·ca·ry n. [L. bibliothecarius: cf. F. bibliothécaire.] A librarian. [Obs.] Evelin.
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Added 29/09/10

Human Anatomical Systems
updated 03/02/14
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