Leonardo da Vinci - the quintessential Renaissance man demonstrated his infinite genius in a staggering variety of intellectual and artistic elements:
Science / Mathematics / Engineering / Inventions / Anatomy / Painting / Sculpture Botany / Music / Writing
Beyond being considered one of the greatest painters of all time, Leoardo is seen as the most diversely talented person in history.
Starting as an apprentice to an artist in Florence at 14 (1466), Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St. Luke (artists and doctors) by the age of 20.
In his early 30's, da Vinci painted an altarpiece and the Adoration of the Magi, going on to create a silver lyre in the shape of a horse's head.
In Milan for 17 years (1482-99), Leonardo painted The Last Supper, developed the Gran Cavallo - a huge equestrian monument - and designed the dome for a cathedral.
Returning to Florence in 1500, Leonardo executed a cartoon. His Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist created a sensation. He served as military architect and engineer with Casare Borgia (son of Pope Alexander VI), travelling throughout Italy in early 1500's.
Mona Lisa (La Gioconda - 1503) ranks with the Last Supper (1498) as da Vinci's timeless masterpiece. The enigmatic smile of the young woman in the portrait posseses an infinitely captivating quality. The landscape behind her brings a three-dimensional aspect to the work.
Master of sciences along with the arts - the Renaissance fused both values - Leonardo's notebooks ran over 13,000 pages, with anatomical, natural, technical and mechanical drawings. Major collections containing Leonardo's notebooks include Windsor Castle, the Louvre, Biblioteca Nacional de Espana, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Library.
As an inventor, Leonardo drew up designs for a screw-propeller helicopter, a flying machine, a 720 foot (240 m) bridge - / smaller version built, in Norway (2001), hydraulic ramps and musical instruments.
A humanist - Leonardo was a vegetarian who freed birds to fly. The fascination with - and research of - Leonardo's multifaceted genius has gone on for hundreds and hundreds of years and will continue forever - to the enlightenment and delight of any and all who explore his universe of concepts and ideas.