Leonardo’s study of the human body led him to investigate the phenomenon of reproduction.

Leonardo had access through dissection to a human foetus of approximately seven months, which he represented in a group of surviving drawings from various viewpoints. Here in the main drawing, the uterus and embryonic membranes are shown bursting magically open like the coverings of a germinating bud to reveal a foetus in the breech position. The umbilical cord is shown coiled in a serpentine line. The cotyledons of the placenta are observed from the uterus of a cow, and are added to the human foetus to produce as comprehensive an image as possible of the reproductive system.


  1. The detail of his sketches are so intricate, it blows my mind how he pioneered this!

    simply genius!