Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Art Conservation

Reader 1

George Gorse

Reader 2

Mary MacNaughton

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Rights Information

© 2017 Rachael S Herrera


Leonardo da Vinci's art and science have a dynamic relationship that can be used to better understand the role of the individual and the human body within his art. Leonardo believed that movements of the body were expressions of the soul. He also thought that the body was as a microcosm of the physical world. The theories, based in ancient tradition, would be challenged by his work with the human anatomy. By studying his notebooks it becomes evident that Leonardo held nature to be the highest creator of the world but as he worked to understand the human body and through extension the physical world, his ideas about nature and the divine became more incomprehensible. Leonardo's art reflects this turn of perspective as he becomes unable to define the physical world through the human body.