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Picture of Leonardo DaVinci
The Bettmann Archive

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian artist and scientist who lived between 1452-1519. Leonardo was the archetypical Renaissance man, whose roles included inventor, engineer, architect, mathematician, geologist, and astronomer.

While he is best known as the painter of the "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper," Leonardo primarily worked for the military. He drew conceptual sketches of tanks, airplanes and submarines hundreds of years before such war machines were created. He understood the notion of inertia, that the moon shone by reflecting light, and that perpetual motion was impossible. Leonardo also performed dissections of the human body and created drawings of bones and muscles that are still used today in medical schools.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA