Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artist and inventor, 15th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Frontispiece with a copy of a Leonardo (1452-1519) self-portrait that hung in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Da Vinci's 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. Illustration from 'Ruhmesblatter der technik' (The glorious chapters of technology) by the engineer Franz Maria Feldhaus (1874-1959) published in Leipzig in 1910.