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Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath, having been a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. Born as the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant girl, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, spending his final years in France at the home given to him by King François I.

Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the "Renaissance man", a man whose seemingly infinite curiosity was equalled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

It is primarily as a painter that Leonardo was and is renowned. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper occupy unique positions as the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also iconic. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, comprise a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo.

As an engineer, Leonardo's ideas were vastly ahead of his time. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded.[d] As a scientist, he greatly advanced the state of knowledge in the fields of anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics. (From Wikipedia)
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The Last Supper 1498 - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
The Last Supper 1498
Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) c. 1503-05 - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) c. 1503-05
Vitruvian Man, Study of proportions, from Vitruvius's... - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Vitruvian Man, Study of proportions, from Vitruvius's...
Drawings Of Water Lifting Devices - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Drawings Of Water Lifting Devices
Giant Crossbow - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Giant Crossbow
Drawing Of A Womans Torso - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Drawing Of A Womans Torso
Female head (The Lady of the Dishevelled Hair) (or... - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Female head (The Lady of the Dishevelled Hair) (or...
Self Portrait - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Self Portrait
Crossbow Machine - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Crossbow Machine
The Virgin and Child with St Anne c. 1510 - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
The Virgin and Child with St Anne c. 1510
Flying Machine - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Flying Machine
Sketches for The Battle of Anghiari 1504-6 - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Sketches for The Battle of Anghiari 1504-6
Assault Chariot With Scythes - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Assault Chariot With Scythes
The Last Supper (2) 1498 - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
The Last Supper (2) 1498
Flower Studies - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Flower Studies
Studies Of The Sexual Act And Male Sexual Organ - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Studies Of The Sexual Act And Male Sexual Organ
Mona Lisa  Detail - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Mona Lisa Detail
Last Supper (copy) 16th century - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Last Supper (copy) 16th century
Automobile - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Automobile
Drawing Of A Flying Machine - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Drawing Of A Flying Machine
St John the Baptist 1513-16 - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
St John the Baptist 1513-16
Head of a Man - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Head of a Man
Madonna of the Rocks - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Madonna of the Rocks
Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (detail) 1483-90 - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org
Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (detail) 1483-90
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