- Da Vinci had intermittent exotropia, a type of misalignment in which one eye turns outward, study says
- "What he was looking at would look more like a flat canvas than ... a three-dimensional screen," researcher says
Da Vinci, one of the world's most celebrated painters, had intermittent exotropia, a type of eye misalignment in which one eye turns outward, according to a study published Thursday
in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.
"Looking at his work, I noticed the pronounced divergence of the eyes in all of his paintings," explained the study's author, Christopher Tyler, a research professor at City University of London and the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco.
Analyzing the direction of the gaze in six likely self-portraits of da Vinci -- two sculptures, two oil paintings and two drawings -- Tyler found that some of the work showed signs of exotropia, with the eyes looking at an outward angle.
Not all six works were self-portraits, but da Vinci specified in his own writings that any portrait work by a painter reflects the painter's own appearance.