A page from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook, including his ‘to-do’ list. Photograph: The Royal Collection
The “to-do” list, translated, reads: “On the Utilities. Spectacles with case, firestick, fork, bistoury [a surgical knife], charcoal, boards, sheets of paper, chalk, white wax, forceps, pane of glass, fine-tooth bone saw, scalpel, inkhorn, penknife.
- Get hold of a skull. Nutmeg.
- Observe the holes in the substance of the brain, where there are more of less of them.
- Describe the tongue of the woodpecker and jaw of a crocodile.
- Give measurement of the dead using his finger [as a unit].
- Get your books on anatomy bound. Boots, stockings, comb, towel, shirts, shoelaces, penknife, pens, a skin for the chest, gloves, wrapping paper, charcoal.”