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.