Did Leonardo da Vinci have a vision disorder that may have helped him capture space on a flat canvas?

October 18, 2018

Bottom Line:  Beginning with Rembrandt, a number of famous artists have been identified as having strabismus, a misalignment of the eyes. Some forms of eye misalignment are thought to be beneficial for artistic work by suppressing the deviating eye, which provides 2-dimensional monocular vision advantageous to painting and drawing. In this study, images considered to be of Leonardo da Vinci (sculptures, oil paintings and drawings) were analyzed. The author found evidence that suggests da Vinci may have had intermittent exotropia (a tendency for the outward turn of an eye). This would result in a capability to switch to monocular vision, which may help to explain his ability to depict the 3-dimensional aspects of faces and objects in the world and the distant depth of mountainous scenes.

Author: Christopher W. Tyler, Ph.D., D.Sc., City University of London, United Kingdom 

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.3833)
-end-
Want to embed a link to this study in your story? Link will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.3833

JAMA Ophthalmology

Related Eye Articles from Brightsurf:

Empathy may be in the eye of the beholder
Do we always want people to show empathy? Not so, said researchers from the University of California, Davis.

Seeing the eye like never before
In a big step for ophthalmology, scientists created a method to view the inner workings of the eye and its diseases at the cellular level.

A smart eye mask that tracks muscle movements to tell what 'caught your eye'
Integrating first-of-its-kind washable hydrogel electrodes with a pulse sensor, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed smart eyewear to track eye movement and cardiac data for physiological and psychological studies.

Vision scientists discover why people literally don't see eye to eye
We humans may not always see eye to eye on politics, religion, sports and other matters of debate.

More than meets the eye
New findings reframe the traditional view of face blindness as a disorder arising strictly from deficits in visual perception of facial features.

An ethical eye on AI
Researchers from the University of Warwick, Imperial College London, EPFL (Lausanne) and Sciteb Ltd have found a mathematical means of helping regulators and business manage and police Artificial Intelligence systems' biases towards making unethical, and potentially very costly and damaging commercial choices - an ethical eye on AI.

Eye blinking on-a-chip
Researchers at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) have developed a device that moves fluids over corneal cells similarly to the movement of tears over a blinking eye.

Guardian angel of the eye
The lens of the human eye comprises a highly concentrated protein solution, which lends the lens its great refractive power.

Antibody-based eye drops show promise for treating dry eye disease
Researchers have identified the presence of a specific type of antibody, called anti-citrullinated protein autoantibodies, or ACPAs, in human tear fluid.

Left eye? Right eye? American robins have preference when looking at decoy eggs
Just as humans are usually left- or right-handed, other species sometimes prefer one appendage, or eye, over the other.

Read More: Eye News and Eye Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.