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July 19, 2010 – Detailed analysis of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes reveals a secret that’s been hidden for 500 years: an image of the human brainstem in a panel showing God at the beginning of Creation, according to an article in the May issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy.
“We propose that Michelangelo, a deeply religious man and an accomplished anatomist, intended to enhance the meaning of this iconographically critical panel and possibly document his anatomic accomplishments by concealing this sophisticated neuroanatomic rendering within the image of God,” write medical illustrator Ian Suk, BSc, BMC, and neurosurgeon Rafael Tamargo, MD, of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore.
Image of Brainstem Concealed in Panel Showing Separation of Light from Darkness:
The “concealed neuroanatomy” is found in Michelangelo’s painting of the Separation of Light from Darkness, one of a series of nine Sistine Chapel panels showing scenes from the Book of Genesis. According to Suk and Tamargo, “anatomically correct ventral [front] depiction” of the brainstem can be seen in God’s neck.
Hat Tip Larwyn