The Renaissance was a time of great interest in education, in comparison with the late Middle Ages. Progress accelerated in science, art, literature, and most other branches of human knowledge. One exception to this progress was philosophy, for reasons no one has ever really grasped, save perhaps for the fact that people were plainly more interested in comprehending the physical world around them than in abstractions. Aristotle remained a dominant power, and Galen continued to influence anatomical research.
One of the giants of the Renaissance was Leonardo Da Vinci. Not only were his biological labors of the first importance, but he achieved immeasurable fame in art as well as other branches of science. The artists of the Renaissance realized that magnificent art could emerge only from a thorough grasp of human anatomy, so Leonardo's, as well as other artists', varied interests were eminently understandable.