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LEONARDO DA VINCI - Studies of trunk and thigh muscles

Royal Collection (RLW), 19014v; K/P 148v

These superb drawings are intended to demonstrate the mechanical work performed by muscles in order to rotate the upper and lower parts of the body above the hip joints. Leonardo refers to the hip as an axle (polo) to underline the analogy with mechanical devices. In a note, he invites the reader to admire the extraordinary skill of the "composer of such a machine."

The small drawings (top left and center) show Leonardo's attempt to classify the basic parts of the various types of muscle together with their nerves and blood vessels, as well as the muscles that are connected to the ribs and regulate breathing.





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