Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical drawings show the connection between art and science

Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings show the connection between art and science

This contemporary collection, and the ongoing process of reinterpreting these fascinating artworks, continues today. Even the world famous Dolly the Sheep, the epitome of cloning technology of the future, was reintroduced in 2016 in a historical context when she was born in 1997.

The ability to focus in line with developments both within and outside of science is a key feature of the operation of museums containing scientific collections, and is one of the paradoxes of their existence. Such museums must remain accessible and entertaining to the casual visitor while constantly representing complex science.

As an example, the extraordinary 2.5-ton copper cavity from CERN is a proportionally small component of the 27 km Large Electron Positron Collider, the predecessor of the Large Hadron Collider that proved the existence of the Higgs boson.

Few can tell what the Higgs boson really is, but the display of the copper cavity gives a sense of the scale of the effort and Scotland’s contribution to our understanding of the universe.

State-of-the-art particle physics is only one of a series of topical issues with which museum visitors can engage. As trusted organizations, museums are ideal places for people to reflect on the challenges of our age, including climate change, sustainability and biodiversity loss. Museums can also address the current and historical role of science in relation to disability, inclusion, human rights and inequality.

Edinburgh Art Festival reviews: Anatomy – A Matter of Death and Life | Alan Davey…

As a multidisciplinary museum, the National Museum of Scotland can address these issues by using a unique combination of arts and sciences.

The current exhibition, Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life, is about the history of science and, appropriately, part of the program for this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival.

Anatomical art, as exemplified by Leonardo da Vinci’s stunning sketches that opened the exhibition, evolved because of a technical imperative: portraits and paintings were used to illustrate scientific findings until the advent of photography and, later, more advanced scanning techniques. was the only way.

The exhibition paints a picture of Enlightenment Edinburgh, but also highlights the economic conditions of the city of the 19th century, which led to an environment in which anatomists paid handsomely for bodies to be dissected .

This practice also led to serious robbery and murder in the case of Burke and Hare. We have been able to reflect the price paid for past practices and progress through the closing of the exhibition, reflecting today’s more ethical and compassionate approach.

Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life is an example of how, through art and science, museums tell compelling stories of our world and our place within it.