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Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)
The quintessential Renaissance man, Leonardo was a consummate painter, architect, sculptor, engineer, and thinker. Of his artworks, the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa are perhaps most celebrated and the most loved. Leonardo was not, however, simply a skilled artist but a practical inventor and serious student of disciplines as far-reaching as biology, mechanics, aeronautics, physiology, and the environment. He perfected a clever method of mirror-writing to record his observations, designs, and experiments; his notebooks remain today models of intellectual achievement.