LEONARDO DA VINCI’S

EYE DIS­OR­DER MIGHT HAVE HELPED HIM

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - HAVE YOU HEARD? -

Doc­tors from the Op­tom­e­try and Vi­sion Sci­ences School at City Univer­sity of Lon­don have di­ag­nosed the Re­nais­sance master with stra­bis­mus after analysing the eye align­ment of works be­lieved to have been mod­elled, in part, on him­self.

Stra­bis­mus is a com­mon vi­sion dis­or­der where one of the eyes looks in­ward, out­ward, up or down when the other eyes is fo­cused on an ob­ject.

The con­di­tion is thought to be ben­e­fi­cial to painters as it lets them bet­ter fo­cus on close-up flat sur­faces and has been iden­ti­fied in a num­ber of fa­mous artists, in­clud­ing Rem­brandt. There are no­to­ri­ously few val­i­dated im­ages of da Vinci and his­to­ri­ans can only spec­u­late on the ex­tent he put him­self into his work. How­ever, Leonardo’s own text the Codex At­lanti­cus says that artists can’t help but be self in­spired, stat­ing: “(The soul) guides the painter’s arm and makes him re­pro­duce him­self, since it ap­pears to the soul that this is the best way to rep­re­sent a hu­man be­ing.”

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