Study: Leonardo da Vinci suffered from “claw hand,” not post-stroke paralysis

Study: Leonardo da Vinci suffered from “claw hand,” not post-stroke paralysis

Enlarge / Detail from a 16th century drawing depicting an elderly Leonardo da Vinci’s damaged right hand. A new study concludes he suffered from “claw hand.” (credit: Museum of Gallerie Dell’Accademia, Venice)

Famed artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci suffered from a crippled right hand late in life, usually attributed to a stroke. In a new paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, two Italian researchers argue that Leonardo more likely suffered from a condition colloquially known as “claw hand.” They base their argument on analysis of a 16th century portrait of en elderly Leonardo.

The quintessential Renaissance man was the illegitimate son of a Florentine notary named Piero Frusino di Antonio da Vinci. (His mother, Caterina, was a peasant.) Much of what we know about Leonardo’s life comes from the writing of the 16th century painter and historian Giorgio Vasari, in Lives of the Most

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