Pioneers in neurology: Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
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Leonardo da Vinci may be most famous for his paintings “Mona Lisa” and “Last Supper” but he was more than just an artist. He was the archetypal Renaissance man; passionately curious and creative, he was accomplished in a wide range of disciplines such as civil and mechanical engineering, hydrodynamics, geometry, geology, chemistry, physics, optics, botany and, not least, anatomy. Although he was not a medical doctor, his contributions to neuroanatomy are so significant that—on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of his death—it is worthwhile remembering and celebrating Leonardo da Vinci’s achievements in neuroanatomy.
Leonardo da Vinci’s early childhood was humble; he was born out-of-wedlock in the small town of Vinci in 1452 and received no formal education. At the age of 14 years, he became the apprentice of the artist Verrocchio at his studio in Florence, staying there until 1478. In 1482, he moved to Milan and was employed on different projects by Ludovico Sforza, the duke of...
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