4The Human Figure

In the preceding three chapters, I have analyzed Leonardo’s science of life in the macrocosm—his studies of the flow of water, life’s medium and vital fluid; his explorations of the Earth’s living body and its transformations over enormous periods of time, in which rocks are gradually worn down, turning into gravel and eventually into the fertile soil that provides life’s sustenance; and his observations of the growth patterns of plants and their interactions with the air, water, and soil of the living Earth.

For Leonardo, these manifestations of life, which are analyzed today in the separate sciences of fluid dynamics, geology, ...

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