Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Michaelangelo's Brain


The picture above is from "Concealed Neuroanatomy in Michelangelo's Separation of Light From Darkness in the Sistine Chapel" by Suk, Ian BSc, BMC; Tamargo, Rafael J. MD, FACS in the May issue of Neurosurgery, the official journal of the Congress of Neurosurgical Surgeons.

Michelangelo Buonarroti was not only a master painter, but a master anatomist, and these neurosurgeons believe they've discovered his 500 hundred year old secret; one that was hidden in plain sight.

Here's an excerpt from their abstract:
"In the winter of 1511, Michelangelo entered the final stages of the Sistine Chapel project and painted 4 frescoes along the longitudinal apex of the vault, which completed a series of 9 central panels depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis. It is reported that Michelangelo concealed an image of the brain in the first of these last 4 panels, namely, the Creation of Adam. Here we present evidence that he concealed another neuronanatomic structure in the final panel of this series, the Separation of Light From Darkness, specifically a ventral view of the brainstem. The Separation of Light From Darkness is an important panel in the Sistine Chapel iconography because it depicts the beginning of Creation and is located directly above the altar."
They believe that Michaelangelo, a religious man, intended to document his anatomical accomplishment (apparently one of his hobbies was dissecting human cadavers) by hiding the neuroanatomical rendering of the human brain within the image of God.

Could it be true, or is this just another case of seeing brains in clouds?

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