These fifty sheets of drawings of the human body by Leonardo, made between about 1485 and 1510–15, are based on the artist's own anatomical dissections and show his evolving understanding of physiology. The drawings demonstrate, as well, Leonardo's progress from technical mastery of his subject to consummate draftsmanship. As Sir Robin Mackworth-Young, librarian of Windsor Castle, says of Leonardo in his Preface: "In the primitive conditions of the late fifteenth century, and with no medical training, this astonishing man acquired a knowledge of human anatomy far in advance of the medical profession of his day. And the studies in which he recorded his findings bear comparison as works of art with his exquisite portrayals of the exterior of the human form and of horses, or with his dramatic representations of mountainous landscapes."
The catalogue documents the second exhibition of Leonardo's drawings from Windsor; Leonardo da Vinci: Nature Studies was shown at the Museum in 1981. The present catalogue contains a chronological table, glossary, table of concordance, and bibliographical note. Catalogue entries are by Kenneth Keele and Jane Roberts.