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LEONARDO DA VINCI - Studies of cervical vertebrae

Royal Collection (RLW), 19075v; K/P 179v

This drawing repeats, even more vividly, the mechanical analogy between the muscles supporting the neck and the shrouds that keep a ship's mast upright. "First you will make the neck spine with its ropes, like a ship's mast with its shrouds. ?You will then make the head with its ropes, that impart motion to it above its axle."

These notes and drawings are particularly striking example of how Leonardo does not hesitate to rework his observational data for the sake of underscoring the body-machine analogy.





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