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Leonardo And Female Interiority

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Chapter Summary

Throughout his life Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) has engaged in anatomical research. Most likely he also performed several dissections of both human and animal remains. The years between 1504 and 1509 mark a period in which Leonardo was highly devoted to his anatomical studies, as had been true of the years 1487-1495. In this chapter, the author argues that Leonardo tried to pursue his pictorial objective that a surface had to be emotionally charged also in his drawings of the anatomical interior spaces of the human body. In 1483 the Milanese Brotherhood of Immaculate Conception commissioned Leonardo to produce an altar-piece for the chapel of the Concezione della Vergine in the San Francesco Grande in Milan. Leonardo's anatomical investigations into the female body and the origin of life in the uterus bring him, in a physical way, into contact with mystical notions about life's origin in the matrix abyssus.

Keywords: anatomical studies; female body; Leonardo da Vinci



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