Leonardo da Vinci is considered the quintessential "Renaissance Man." Born in Vinci, Italy in 1452, da Vinci was a painter, scientist, mathematician, geolist, botanist, anatomist, and more. By the time he died in 1519, he had left the world some of the most respected paintings in human history -- notably, the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper -- as well as his drawings of the human anatomy, which are still used today as examples of early and accurate depictions of the human body.
In addition to his art and anatomical sketches, da Vinci was, if not exactly an inventor, then certainly a visionary with regard to future modes of transportation. His drawings of bicycles, a helicopter, and an airplane demonstrated great vision and creativity, grounded in scientific reality.
Da Vinci's contributions to the 16th Century helped shape the Renaissance, and he remains one of the most revered figures in history.
Leonardo da Vinci can be seen as the ultimate “Renaissance man.” This is because he was so amazingly accomplished in so many different areas. The Renaissance ideal was that a person should be well-rounded and Leonardo certainly fit that description. Leonardo was Italian and lived from 1452 to 1519.
Leonardo is perhaps best known for his art. He did not produce many works of art that survive, but two of his surviving works are among the most famous pieces of art in the world. His “The Last Supper” is perhaps the most famous piece of religious art in the world. The “Mona Lisa” is one of the most famous secular paintings ever. These alone would make him famous.
But Leonardo is also famous as a scientist and inventor. He drew sketches of many things that were not to become technologically possible for centuries after his life. For example, he drew sketches of a tank and a helicopter. He was also a major figure in the study of the anatomy of the human body.
For these reasons and others, Leonardo is a major figure of the Renaissance.