Leonardo da Vinci - ingenious anatomist: 500 years since the death of the famous erudite.Rom J Morphol Embryol. 2019; 60(4):1391-1395.RJ
Born on April 15, 1452, in a modest family in a hamlet from Tuscany, Leonardo da Vinci became the unassailable icon of Renaissance. Pushed throughout his entire life by his relentless curiosity, he was a painter, draughtsman, sculptor, poet, musician, writer, engineer, stage designer, architect, physicist, astronomer, cartographer and anatomist. His earliest surviving anatomical drawings (ca. 1485-1493) include studies of the skull, meninges, brain and cerebral ventricles. He was the first to pith a frog, concluding that piercing the spinal medulla will result in immediate death - a completely unexpected result in that era. In an effort to better understand the origins of the sensory and motor functions of the brain - which at the time was believed to be in the ventricles - he developed a method of injecting hot wax into the ventricles of an ox. He was the first to correctly describe the four ventricles of the brain. Thus, he circumvented a 16 century-long flaw in the dissection technique, which did not allow the correct study of the shape of the ventricles - decapitation and drainage of fluids before study. Even though he was never formally educated in the study of medicine, his work continues to inspire us today, 500 years after his death.