LEONARDO DA VINCI - Studies of the mechanism of breathing
Royal Collection (RLW), 19015v; K/P 149v (detail)
Leonardo uses mechanical principles to demonstrate the role of muscles and the rib cage in breathing. He stresses the reciprocal, integrated action of the ribs and spinal column. The muscles and ribs that support the column are likened to the shrouds that hold a ship's mast in place.