Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artist and inventor, c 1500.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photogravure after a self-portrait drawing by da Vinci (1452-1519) who was an Italian artist, engineer, scientist and inventor. His drawings featured ideas such as a spinning wheel and a flying machine. He disected human bodies (which he used to produce accurate anatomical drawings), studied the properties of light and water and worked in Milan as an inspector of fortifications, and later in Florence as a military engineer. He had a wide knowledge and understanding far beyond his times of most of the sciences, including biology, anatomy, physiology, hydrodynamics, mechanics and aeronautics. His notebooks, written in mirror writing, contain original remarks on all of these. Published by Photographische Gesellschaft, Berlin, c 1910.