January 19, 2021

Strabismus, the cause of Da Vinci's genius – The Province

Strabismus, the cause of Da Vinci's genius - The Province


Leonardo da Vinci I was probably suffering from squint and that would have contributed to his sense of perspective, increasing their field of vision and perception of depth, according to a British study.

This study, led by Christopher Tyler of the City University of London, focused oneis portraits and self-portraits made or representing the great Italian master of the Renaissance, two paintings, two sculptures and two drawings.

The researcher stressed that the eyes of the characters visible in these works presented "an angle of divergent strabismus", especially in the painting 'Salvator Mundi', the 'San Juan Bautista', and even in the famous drawing of 'Vitruvian Man'.

'Salvator Mundi' is an example.

These indications "suggest that Leonardo da Vinci suffered an intermittent divergent strabismus, and also the ability to switch to monocular vision", emphasizes Christopher Tyler in this study published online by the medical journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

People with strabismus often have monocular rather than binocular vision: both eyes are used separately, which may have the effect of increasing the field of vision and perception of depth.

A divergent strabismus, "particularly if it was intermittent, could have contributed to the exceptional ability of Leonardo da Vinci to bring relief to a canvas"said the researcher.

According to the study, this vision disorder "perhaps explains the ease of representation of objects and faces in three dimensions that Leonardo da Vinci had," or to represent mountainous landscapes at the bottom of his compositions.

Strabismus can be "comfortable for a painter, because to see the world with only one eye allows direct comparisons with the flat image, drawn or painted, "says Christopher Tyler, who cites studies according to which other renowned painters, such as Rembrandt, Dürer, Degas or Picasso, also suffered from strabismus.

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