The name Leonardo can man different things to different people.

To some it is the Renaissance polymath, to some it is a floppy haired Oscar nominated actor and to some it is a martial arts loving turtle.

To me, he was always someone who dabbled in lots of things. The sort of things you would love to do now but unfortunately you have to pick one thing that pays the wages. This image was enhanced by the TV series Leonardo.

This image was further confirmed by binge watching DaVinci’s Demons in which he single handedly saved Florence on multiple occasions. The producers of this series claim an 85% historical accuracy but I feel this must have been focused on costume and set design rather than plot line.

Entertaining but probably not historically accurate.

Leonardo has featured in the data collection for my PhD. He is mentioned as an example of an artist who dissected. Would we allow that to happen now? Although various dramas are vague on the history, we know that Leonardo was employed as an artist. He may or may not have been employed to develop military weapons and he doesn’t appear to have claimed to have been a medic or an anatomist. He was just interested in lots of things. He was an artist who anatomised as opposed to an anatomist who drew, although I agree those two categories probably meet somewhere.

Leonardo is someone to turn to when your confidence is feeling low. A bit like Thomas Eddison, everyone remembers the things that they got right, be it the light bulb or a fantastic drawing of the human heart. Everybody forgets the thing that they got wrong; the concept that the electric chair was a good idea or his depiction of the ventricles of the brain or those tendons that support the uterus (but are found in cows not humans).

Author: Anatomy Fundamentals

Janet Philp has spent a lifetime exploring fitness and wellbeing. Starting in group exercise, travelling through rugby to representing the UK at martial arts before including Yoga, meditation, Budokon and personal instruction. Her passion is anatomical function and educating people to use their bodies to their full potential.

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