The Death of Da Vinci

Lascapigliata.jpgLeonardo da Vinci, a polymath artist and scientist, died on May 2 1519. The artist that shaped and led the Italian Renaissance, died in France.

The last years of his life were spent at the French court of King Francis I. The circumstances surrounding his death are mysterious. There are only a handful for primary sources that describe Da Vinci in his final days. One such source is the journal of Louis d’Aragona who described the right hand paralysis of the then-65-year-old artist. D’Aragona goes on to say that despite the paralysis da Vinci continued to draw, paint and teach. As well he should have, we know he was ambidextrous.

The lack of medical notes leaves more questions than answers but two Italian doctors think the descriptions point to a stroke. The decline and nature of his convalescence points to a recurring pattern of strokes described by a writer at the time as a paroxysm.

Check out the Bellevue Library collection for more resources on Da Vinci

Seeker article about Da Vinci’s health

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