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College Fellow draws on expertise for da Vinci exhibition

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04 Jun 2013

da Vinci

RCSEd Fellow and Examiner Professor Peter Abrahams has contributed to a forthcoming exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci at Holyrood Palace. The exhibition, 'Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man' is on at the Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse from Friday 2 August to Sunday 10 November 2013.

The exhibition will focus on Leonardo's anatomical investigations during the winter of 1510-11, when he carried out some 20 autopsies at the University of Pavia in collaboration with the professor of anatomy, Marcantonio della Torre.

Professor Abrahams' involvement came about following a lecture at Buckingham Palace where he linked da Vinci's 500-year-old anatomical drawings with modern 3D radiology. "This approach proved fascinating and when the Edinburgh Festival chose technology as its theme for 2013, the Royal Collection Trust was approached to produce an exhibition along the same lines as my original lecture," explains Professor Abrahams.

There followed an invitation from the Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Royal Collection Trust, Martin Clayton, to provide the modern scans to match Leonardo's ideas, to go on display alongside the original drawings.

Revealing more about the exhibition, Professor Abrahams continues: "One of the most cutting-edge exhibits is a transparent 3D plastic printed heart from a real human donated specimen, but there are also matching 3D CT and MR scans as well as ultrasound from living patients - all of which show how amazingly accurate and ahead of his times were the dissections and artwork of this 15th Century genius."

Professor Abrahams, who is Professor of Clinical Anatomy at Warwick Medical School, will also deliver a Heritage Society lecture on da Vinci at the RCSEd on Friday 2 August.

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