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

Pen and ink over black chalk | RCIN 919035

  • 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’




    Provenance

    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

  • Medium & Techniques

    Pen and ink over black chalk

  • Object categorie(s)