Leonardo Da Vinci –How a 15th Century Artist predicted 21st Century Radiology

Linking the disciplines of art and anatomy at an intriguing lecture on October 18th, Dr. Abrahams – part time anatomy faculty at St. George’s University – described the ingenious of Italian artist, Leonardo Da Vinci who accurately depicted human anatomy through his drawings.  “These pictures are not just extremely amazing art and artistically beautiful, but they are an amazing record of an anatomy text book of the human body, produced approximately forty years before the first anatomy text book of the renaissance. So he predated even the first people that ever produced a decent anatomy book, and yet they were never published and remained in hiding for nearly 300 years, until the 1700’s.”

According to Dr. Abrahams, the concept of Magnetic Resonance (MR) and Computerized Tomography (CT) scans in the 21st century is not a new phenomenon, but was illustrated in the drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci. “Amazingly in his anatomical descriptions of the body, he foresaw the idea of slicing through the body and actually looking at it from all directions and angles.” This was graphically illustrated during the lecture via a video presentation of Leonardo’s pictures, and what modern medicine can now do, five hundred years later.

Dr. Abrahams attributed Leonardo’s ability to derive such an accurate replica of the human body due to a combination of unique skill sets. He stated, “Leonardo dissected between twenty and thirty bodies himself, like any professor of anatomy would in the modern era. But he then had the ability to draw what he saw very accurately and more excitingly than that, he was able to use his knowledge of mechanics and other aspects of engineering to determine how the body worked. So he had the combination of artistic, scientific and engineering knowledge which enabled him to put it all together and understand it.” Dr. Abrahams attests that it is the homogeneous combination of both the artist and the scientist that makes his approach so unique.

Earlier this year, a similar lecture was given by Dr. Abrahams at the Queens Gallery in Buckingham Palace England, to a number of scientists, artists, medical practitioners and students in attendance. An upcoming lecture will also be given at Northumbria University and another is being planned in Grenada in 2013.

Dr. Abrahams  a practitioner is also currently a Professor of Clinical Anatomy at Warwick Medical School, England. He has been a visiting professor and part-time faculty with St. George’s University since 1993.  For more on Leonardo Da Vinci and his exceptional work ‘brought to life’, persons can visit the App Store.