From Big Medical Encyclopedia

LEONARDO YES OF VINCI (Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 — 1519) — the Italian artist, the sculptor, the scientist-Encyclopaedist, the engineer and the scientist, one of the most visible representatives of art and science of Renaissance.


Vinci near Florence was born in; Klugh, department of Turen (France) died in.

Theories and hypotheses made by Leonardo da Vinci in many cases were the large opening which are on the general way of development of science. He is an initiator of development of many scientific problems, the founder of many scientific disciplines. Throughout all the life of Leonardo da Vinci actively participated in disclosure of mysteries of the nature, doing observations, comparisons, accumulated material, repeatedly being returned to the problem interesting him. «the most various industries of physics are obliged to it by important opening» (F. Engels, Natural dialectic, M., 1952, page 4).

The circle of scientific interests of Leonardo da Vinci is extremely wide: it researched in the field of mathematics and physics, geology and astronomy. Was interested he sciences of a biological cycle not less — in notebooks there are materials and statements on anatomy and physiology, zoology and botany.

Began to get acquainted with problems of natural sciences of Leonardo da Vinci very much early in the years of study at the famous artist and the sculptor A. Verokkio and the mathematician and the physician P. Toscanelli. Later, in Milan, communicating with scientists un-that Pavia and with Milan scientists, it got acquainted with natural-science literature, was in the center of the controversy caused by revolutionary changes of science of Renaissance.

Leonardo da Vinci stood in the center of scientific interests of the era, its researches and thoughts are in the general ideological flow caused by the Renaissance. He or developed the fruitful ideas of the past on a new basis, or argued with them, or itself was an initiator of new views and directions. Art critics repeatedly noted that Leonardo da Vinci's creativity as artist was connected with his occupations science, ate the same sources, as his scientific concepts.

Natural-science views of Leonardo da Vinci are characterized by a materialistic orientation and revolutionism — he rejected old authorities and old ways of knowledge. Rejection of theological explanations, fight against scholastic, book knowledge, hostility to alchemy, mystical views make it similar to those great scientists, to-rye along with it created pilot natural sciences.

Leonardo da Vinci was one of those who laid the foundation of experimental natural sciences. It was not only the supporter of an experiment as method of knowledge, but also itself systematically and, as a rule, with success applied it in own researches.

Leonardo da Vinci — one of founders of embryology. The famous English scientist J. Needham in the book «History of Embryology» calls Leonardo one of the most great biologists. Leonardo da Vinci the first entered a quantitative method of a research into biology, it almost for 400 years outstripped the era in it. «A special merit of Leonardo in embryology — J writes. Needham — there was an establishment of the fact by it that germs can be measured not only at each this moment, but also at a consecutive number of the moments... If Aristotle is a father of embryology as the industries of natural sciences, then Leonardo is the father of embryology as exact science».

Leonardo da Vinci's anatomy studied under the leadership of the friend della Torre (M. A. della Torre) and illustrated his compositions on anatomy. Anatomic drawings immeasurably surpass in the realness and accuracy not only modern to it, but also many latest. Leonardo da Vinci's drawings which are result of synthesis of own observations at numerous openings allow to judge the general patterns of a structure of a human body.

In Leonardo da Vinci's drawings detailed, gravitating to illusion of a stereometrichnost laid the foundation of a modern scientific illustration.

Leonardo da Vinci's contribution to development of problems of anatomy is very considerable. It described a number of bones of a skeleton and nerves, the first correctly defined number of vertebrae in a sacrum at the person, opened (to N. Gaymor) pneumatic bosoms of a skull. In drawings for the first time gave the image of frontal, wedge-shaped and maxillary sine, sesamoid stones groans and other. stated the first the innovative assumption of antagonism of muscles.

The human body deprived of an integument was the main subject to its observations. But along with it it described an arrangement and outward of nek-ry internals, an eye and optic nerves, drinks, a bronchial tree, heart, described vessels and neuroplexes, generative organs, uterine tubes and round uterine sheaves, a fruit in a uterus, a placenta, etc. Applied a method of an injetsirovaniye the melted wax of cerebral cavities. Works it outstripped A. Vezaliya's researches by half a century, but remained unknown to contemporaries. Only after death anatomic drawings of Leonardo da Vinci were returned from France to Italy, then appeared in England where they began to be published afterwards in number of other materials of a collection of Windsor Castle.

A number of works of Leonardo da Vinci is devoted to questions of a comparative anatomy. He assumed to make the description of the person, a cut would capture «and those who almost similar it a look», i.e. monkeys, and also to represent a number of a leg of a bear, monkey and other animals, having shown, than they differ from a leg of the person.

Works: The chosen works, the lane with ital., t. 1 — 2, M. — L., 1935; The Chosen natural-science works, the lane with ital., M., 1955.

Bibliography: Zhdanov D. A. of Leonardo da Vinci is an anatomist, M. — L., 1955; Petrov B. D. of Leonardo da Vinci is the scientist, in book: Leonardo da Vinci, Anatomy, Records and drawings, the lane with ital., page 555, M., 1965; Tikotinm. A. Leonardo da Vinci in the history, anatomy and physiology, L., 1957.

B. D. Petrov.