Leonardo da Vinci
1452 – 1519
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath: architect, anatomist, sculptor, engineer,
inventor, mathematician, musician, and painter. He has been described as the archetype of the "Renaissance man", a man
infinitely curious and equally inventive. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and a
Leonardo is famous for his realistic paintings, such as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, as well as for influential drawings
such as the Vitruvian Man. He conceived of ideas vastly ahead of his own time, notably conceptually inventing a helicopter,
a tank, the use of concentrated solar power, a calculator, a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics, the double hull, and many
others. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were feasible during his lifetime; modern scientific approaches to
metallurgy and engineering were only in their infancy during the Renaissance. In addition, he greatly advanced the state of
knowledge in the fields of anatomy, astronomy, civil engineering, optics, and the study of water (hydrodynamics). Of his works,
only a few paintings survive, together with his notebooks (scattered among various collections) containing drawings, scientific
diagrams and notes.
Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense; "da Vinci" simply means "from Vinci". His full birth name was "Leonardo di ser
Piero da Vinci", meaning "Leonardo, son of (Mes)ser Piero from Vinci."