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Recto: The muscles and nerves of the leg. Verso: The muscles of the leg


Creator: Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519) (artist)
Creation Date: 
Materials and techniques: 
Pen and ink over black chalk
19.2 x 14.0 cm
RL 19035
K&P 77
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: a drawing of the inner surface of a left leg showing vessels and nerves; schema of the right sciatic nerve and its branches; the outer surface of a left leg; notes on the drawings and on the principles of anatomical representation. Verso: two drawings of a left leg, one being a front view, the other of the inner surface, both drawn to show the superficial muscles of the thigh; notes on the drawings.

In his later years Leonardo dissected about thirty human corpses, recording his findings on the pages of his notebooks. This sheet studies the superficial muscles of the leg, with accompanying notes in Leonardo’s habitual backwards ‘mirror-writing’

Further details

Unframed Drawings / Watercolours