An American doctor has spotted something amazing on David, the statue created by Renaissance artist Michelangelo. That something is an anatomical insight made by the artist, which have gone unnoticed on the statue for more than 500 years.
In the vast majority of sculptures, and in the everyday physiology of living people, the jugular vein running from the upper torso through the neck is not visible.
But in the Renaissance masterpiece, the vessel is clearly "distended" and made visible above David's collarbone, as would occur in any healthy young man who's at a pitch of excitement about facing a potentially lethal opponent—in this case, Goliath.
"Michelangelo, like some of his artistic contemporaries, had anatomical training," Gelfman wrote in a letter published Dec 26 in the journal JAMA Cardiology. "I realized that Michelangelo must have noticed temporary jugular venous distension in healthy individuals who are excited."
But what is so amazing about this feature on the statue? This observation came to the artist over a century before its documentation by medical science! Talk about awesome powers of observation.
(Image Credit: Jörg Bittner Unna/ Wikimedia Commons)