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Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Recto: The muscles of the shoulder and arm. Verso: The muscles of the shoulder and arm, and the bones of the foot


Creator: Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519) (artist)
Creation Date: 
Recto: Pen and ink. Verso: Pen and ink with wash, over black chalk
28.9 x 20.1 cm
K&P 144
RL 19013
Acquirer: Charles II, King of Great Britain (1630-85)
Bequeathed to Francesco Melzi; from whose heirs purchased by Pompeo Leoni, c.1582-90; Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, by 1630; Probably acquired by Charles II; Royal Collection by 1690

Recto: three studies, one on a larger scale, of a man's right arm and shoulder, showing muscles; three studies of a right arm; a diagram to illustrate pronation and supination of the hand. Verso: three drawings showing a deep dissection of the muscles of the shoulder region; two studies of the muscles of the shoulder and right arm; a diagram of the respiratory muscles; a skeleton of a left foot with leg bones; notes on the drawings.

Leonardo’s greatest scientific researches were in the field of anatomy. He dissected around thirty corpses during his career, and made many observations far in advance of his time. Here he studied the muscles of the shoulder and arm and the bones of the foot, commenting on the structures shown in his typical mirror-writing. Leonardo intended to write a treatise on anatomy, but this was never completed, and his astonishing drawings remained little known until modern times.

Further details

Unframed Drawings / Watercolours