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Hist Sci Med. 2009 Apr-Jun;43(2):199-208.

[Regarding the Manuscript D " Dell' occhio " of Leonardo da Vinci].

[Article in French]


Leonardo da Vinci's Manuscript D consists of five double pages sheets, which, folded in two, comprise ten folios. This document, in the old Tuscan dialect and mirror writing, reveals the ideas of Leonardo on the anatomy of the eye in relation to the formation of images and visual perception. Leonardo explains in particular the behavior of the rays in the eye in terms of refraction and reflection, and is very mechanistic in his conception of the eye and of the visual process. The most significant innovations found in these folios are the concept of the eye as a camera obscura and the intersection of light rays in the interior of the eye. His texts nevertheless show hesitation, doubts and a troubled confusion, reflecting the ideas and uncertainties of his era. He did not share his results in his lifetime, despite both printing and etching being readily available to him.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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