An Eye Disorder May Have Given Leonardo da Vinci An Artistic Edge

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An Eye Disorder May Have Given Leonardo da Vinci An Artistic Edge


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I found something really interesting this time, guys. Apparently, an eye disorder may have given Leonardo da Vinci an artistic edge.

Visual Neuroscientist Christopher Tyler of the City University of London examined six pieces of art, including Salvator Mundi and Vitruvian Man. Five of the pieces depict an eye misalignment consistent with a disorder called exotropia that can interfere with three-dimensional vision, Tyler reports online October 18 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Tyler calculated the differences in eye alignment using the same sorts of measurements that an optometrist does when tailoring a pair of glasses. Most of the portraits showed the eyes misaligned, but Vitruvian Man by da Vinci himself did not. As a result, da Vinci may have had intermittent exotropia, present only some of the time and perhaps controllable, Tyler suspects.

What is Exotropia?

Exotropia is a form of strabismus (eye misalignment) in which one or both of the eyes turn outward. It is the opposite of crossed eyes, or esotropia. Exotropia may occur from time to time (intermittent exotropia) or may be constant, and is found in every age group.