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Original Article

A midline sagittal brain view depicted in da Vinci’s “Saint Jerome in the wilderness”

Authors:

MM Valença ,

Neurology and Neurosurgery Unit, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil, Neurosurgery Unit, Hospital Esperança, Recife, Brazil, BR
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M deFV VascoAragão,

Neurology and Neurosurgery Unit, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil, BR
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M Castillo

Division of Neuroradiology, Division of Neuroradiology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, US
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Abstract

It is estimated that around the year 1480 Leonardo da Vinci painted Saint Jerome in the Wilderness, representing the saint during his years of retreat in the Syrian dessert where he lived the life of a hermit. One may interpret Leonardo’s Saint Jerome in the Wilderness as St. Jerome practicing self-chastisement with a stone in his right hand, seemingly punching his chest repeatedly. The stone, the lion and a cardinal’s hat are conventionally linked to the saint. A skull was also almost always present with the image of the saint symbolically representing penance. With careful analysis of the painting one can identify the skull which is hidden in an arc represented as a lion’s tail. The image is of a hemicranium (midline sagittal view) showing the intracranial dura, including the falx and tentorium, and venous system with the sinuses and major deep veins. This may have been the first time when the intracranial sinuses and the major deep venous vessels were illustrated.

How to Cite: Valença M, VascoAragão M deFV, Castillo M. A midline sagittal brain view depicted in da Vinci’s “Saint Jerome in the wilderness”. Journal of the Belgian Society of Radiology. 2013;96(3):175–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jbr-btr.246
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Published on 01 May 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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