Superficial anatomy of the shoulder and neck (recto)

Leonardo da Vincic.1510

Royal Collection Trust, UK

Royal Collection Trust, UK
London, United Kingdom

This sheet displays the full range of Leonardo's illustrative techniques, showing the structure of the muscles of the shoulder. Pectoralis major is divided into parts to represent the lines of force along which it acts. This method reaches its logical conclusion in the drawing at top right, which is an example of Leonardo's 'thread model'. This technique - invented by Leonardo - reduced the muscles to single cords along their central lines of force, such that the spatial structure of an entire system can be perceived at once.


  • Title: Superficial anatomy of the shoulder and neck (recto)
  • Creator: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Creator Lifespan: 1452 - 1519
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Death Place: Amboise
  • Creator Birth Place: Vinci
  • Date Created: c.1510
  • Physical Dimensions: w198 x h292 mm
  • Type: Prints & drawings
  • Rights: Supplied by Royal Collection Trust / (c) HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012
  • External Link: http://www.rct.uk/collection/919003
  • Medium: Pen and ink with wash, over traces of black chalk
  • Support: paper
  • Provenance: Bequeathed to Francesco Melzi; from whose heirs purchased by Pompeo Leoni, c.1582-90; Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, by 1630; Probably acquired by Charles II; Royal Collection by 1690

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