Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy For iPad – The Master’s work and a Masterpiece App

Total Score:   29.5

I am dazzled by Leonard da Vinci: Anatomy, and it’s hard to pick out just what feature is the most impressive.  There are 268 of da Vinci’s drawings.   You can pinch and zoom in to see amazing detail.   In addition, there are eleven (short) chapters of information corresponding to each drawing, including background of what was the conventional thinking at the time and how Leonardo understood the truth and occasionally how he was influenced by his contemporaries.   There are interviews by the curator of the drawings and historians and scientists. You can interact with the 3-D images that correspond with the drawings.  This book works as a history book, an art book, a study of anatomy and most certainly, as a spectacular iPad book.

This book complements the collection of drawings being displayed at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, between May 4 and October 7, 2012. I can imagine going to the exhibit with my iPad in hand, studying the originals on the walls and the details through the app.

  Price Rating = 5     $13.99.  When compared to a printed book, this app is a bargain.  You could not really compare it to a printed book because it is so much more.  I think the price is completely reasonable considering the functionality and scope of information.   It definitely delivers on the WOW factor.

Ease of Use Rating = 5    This app is intuitive.  Starting with the video might allow you to explore the features more quickly.

 Readability Rating = 5     You can adjust the font size as well as the brightness on the screen.

 Will You Use It Rating = 5    We all have different interests in life, but I would think this book would appeal to a large group.  As I mentioned above, it would appeal to history buffs, artists, scientists and anyone who wants to learn more about Leonardo da Vinci.

 Downsides Rating = 0   I did not see any downsides.

 Consumer Review Rating = 4.5     This book only has 99 ratings, but they are overwhelmingly positive.  Reviewers used words like stunning, benchmark and terrific.  It would be hard to come up with something negative about this app.      

Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5   I could say you need this because it is beautiful to look at – and it is.  I could say you would want it because it would give you a greater understanding of art – and it does.   This app/book delivers on many levels.

How does it work?

  1. The first thing you should do is play the introduction.  It sets the stage for the app you are about to enjoy.
  2. You have the option of reading the chapters with corresponding drawings or going straight to the drawings.  The chapters do help you understand the context, so I would recommend starting with the chapters.   I preferred viewing it in landscape, but portrait works well too.
  3. Seamlessly embedded at the end of each chapter is an interview with a historian or scientist that adds an additional dimension to the story.
  4. Alongside some of the drawings, three-D images appear to connect this drawing with actual anatomy.  You can interact with these images by watching them move, removing layers or spinning them.
  5. Clicking on underlined words in the text help illustrate the concepts.
  6. When you select the drawings option, you have a number of choices.  You can pinch and zoom to see the drawing in detail.  You can click on the mirror to reverse the text and you can click translate to see Leonardo’s thoughts (in English) next to the drawing.
  7. Some of the details of the drawings are lost to the naked eye because of the technique that da Vinci used.  You can enhance these drawings with a UV option. Clicking on it brings out the work in startling detail.

I am very impressed by the beauty and simplicity of this book.  It works as a traditional book that you use to read and review drawings.  It works even better as a full-featured app that allows you to have your book and to see drawings married to 3-D images.  I’d love to hear what you think is the best feature of this app.  I look forward to your comments.

I should provide one small warning.  This app does have nude figures and some sexually explicit drawings.  They were part of the artist’s exploration of the human body.  It is nothing more than real life.

Devices:  This app is compatible with the iPad.  It requires iOS 5.0 or later.  Touch Press LLP developed this lovely app.

2 thoughts on “Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy For iPad – The Master’s work and a Masterpiece App

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