In a previous post, I showcased how certain details of the Sistine Chapel wall painting called the 'The Creation of Adam' by Michelangelo have anatomical references, but it turns out that the famous fresco is by far not the only reference to brain anatomy in the chapel created by Michelangelo.
Another fresco titled 'The Separation of Light from Darkness', too, contains several anatomical references, namely to the cerebellum, optic nerves, the spinal cord, and the brainstem. But how could the famous sculptor have such an excellent knowledge of anatomy, weren't dissections prohibited by the church at the time? Well, it actually turns out that for a short period at the beginning of the 16th century, when Michelangelo was a young man, public dissections of condemned criminals were briefly allowed by the Catholic Church.
The young artist participated in around 30 such autopsies and made several anatomically-accurate sketches, which were discovered in the early 1600s. So, it is very likely that his inclusion of these anatomical brain structures in the Sistine Chapel was a way to share his knowledge.
Clancy's comment: Extraordinary.