Leonardo da Vinci's designs for a trebuchet, c 1480s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Sketch taken from a notebook by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519). Da Vinci was the most outstanding Italian painter, sculptor, architect and engineer of the Renaissance period. He had a wide knowledge of the sciences, including biology, anatomy, physiology, hydrodynamics, mechanics and aeronautics. His notebooks, written in mirror writing, contain original remarks on all of these areas.