Leonardo da Vinci began studying the human body to improve his paintings of the human form. But he soon threw himself into the study of anatomy. Here, an illustration of the cardiovascular system and major organs of a woman, drawn circa 1509-1510.
A drawing of a nude man from behind, c.1504-6, by Leonardo da Vinci.
Organs and Vessels
Leonardo da Vinci was close to unraveling the mysteries of the circulatory system. This drawing of the major organs and circulatory system of a man was made between 1485 and 1490.
The Beauty of the Hand
Leonardo da Vinci captured the delicacy of the hand in this series of sketches from around 1510.
Da Vinci's Limbs
Sketches of the shoulder and foot made by Leonardo da Vinci around 1510.
Da Vinci's Notes
Leonardo da Vinci's journals contain notes, as well. Here, notes on the death of a centenarian, written in da Vinci's hand in about 1508.
A study of the digestive system made by Leonardo da Vinci.
A skull sectioned, 1489, by Leonardo da Vinci.
Sketches of the Heart
Leonardo da Vinci's studies of the coronary vessels and valves of the heart, c.1511-13
Fetus in Utero
Leonardo da Vinci's sketches of a fetus in the womb, made between 1510 and 1513.
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.
Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.