CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen?

Posted in Arts & Health, Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 24, 2013

Leonardo da Vinci: the Mechanics of Man, Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh.  An in depth presentation on Leonardo’s anatomical studies.  Remarkable drawing when as they point out he was using a goose feather – it’s incredibly even and tidy and smaller than you expect.  But then it’s clear from the audio guide that present day anatomists are deeply impressed with his skill – they comment on how precisely the skull is bisected and then transected.  They also comment on how easy it is to get septicemia particularly from the organs of the digestive tract, and that cleanliness and accuracy are key (not things one normally associates with the Renaissance or perhaps with artists?).  There are references to where Leonardo was getting it wrong: he still thought that the arteries and veins were two separate systems – he hadn’t quite got to the circulation of blood, though he was clearly very close.  The exhibition could have had more in depth interpretation – there is a huge amount of information on each page, but they have produced an ipad app which allows you to see each page, pan and zoom as you would expect, but also with provide a translation of all the text on the page in position.

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