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Leonardo DaVinci Bookmark Leonardo DaVinci (1452-1519)

"There can be no greater or lesser mastery than over oneself."

Leonardo was the illegitimate son of a young notary, Ser Piero, and a peasant girl named Caterina. Born outside Florence, he was raised by his father in Vinci, with access to scholarly texts that belonged to family and friends.

Master painter, sculptor, engineer, mathematician, architect, hydrologist, anatomist - Leonardo's artistic talents were matched only by his curiosity and ceaseless ingenuity.

At the age of 15, he was apprenticed to the renowned Andrea dei Verrochio, where he soon began to demonstrate his artistic genius. Though renowned as a painter, he was consumed by scientific and engineering projects. He created many machines, from helicopters to swing bridges, parachutes to contact lenses, tanks to water turbines. He dissected corpses to create the first anatomy text.

His curiosity frequently undermined his art, and many of his later paintings were abandoned for other projects. He did finish his masterpiece, and today the Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre behind bulletproof glass, one of the most beautiful and revolutionary works put to canvas.

Leonardo was quite literally the original Renaissance Man, whose innovations in mechanics and art ushered in the High Renaissance.

Leonardo DaVinci