Anatomical studies of the shoulder (c.1510; Milan, Italy) by Leonardo da Vinci

Anatomical studies of the shoulder - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1510; Milan, Italy

Artwork Information

TitleAnatomical studies of the shoulder
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Datec.1510; Milan, Italy
Dimensions28.9 x 19.9 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance

About Anatomical studies of the shoulder

The artwork “Anatomical studies of the shoulder,” created by the illustrious Leonardo da Vinci around 1510 in Milan, Italy, presents a compelling exploration of human anatomy. Rendered with finesse on paper using chalk and ink, this piece measures 28.9 cm by 19.9 cm and belongs to the High Renaissance movement. As a quintessential sketch and study, it exemplifies the meticulous attention to detail and the intersection between art and science that characterized much of da Vinci’s work.

The artwork features a series of detailed anatomical drawings focusing on the muscles and bones of the human shoulder and neck. The most prominent figure shows an elderly male subject in profile with the musculature of the neck and shoulder fully exposed, demonstrating da Vinci’s profound understanding of human anatomy. Accompanying this central figure are additional studies highlighting different layers and orientations of the shoulder’s muscular structure.

Leonardo da Vinci’s skill as both an artist and a scientist comes forth in the precision of the drawings. The meticulous use of line art and shading captures the complexity of the anatomical structures with remarkable clarity and depth. Furthermore, the artwork is interspersed with mirror-writing annotations, which are typical of da Vinci’s style, providing insights or observations related to the studies depicted. These notes, written in his distinctive reversed script, reiterate the notion of the artwork as an educational tool, not merely an artistic endeavor. This unique amalgamation of visual and textual elements makes the artwork a testament to Leonardo’s insatiable curiosity and his contributions to the understanding of human physiology.

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