Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in Vinci, near Florence in 1452, is known for his visionary ideas. He made sketches of scissors, the parachute, helicopter, airplanes, and engineering designs, some of which came into use 400 years after his death in 1519. But his notebooks never provided an explanation on the mechanics of his inventions. In fact, it is not known if he ever even constructed any of the ideas himself. What is known is that he could write with the one hand and draw with the other simultaneously.
In his last 6 years, Leonardo da Vinci worked for King Francis I of France. The king bought one of Leonardo’s paintings, which he hung in his bathroom. Called La Gioconda, this portrait of Lisa Gherandini was the first painting to feature fading colors to create a sense of aerial perspective. Today it is better known as the Mona Lisa.
In 1912, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre, Paris. It took almost 3 years to recover. During that time, 6 forgeries turned up in the USA, each selling for a very high price. The original is, obviously, priceless.
Video: Mona Lisa is one of the best-known faces on the planet. But would you recognize an image of Leonardo da Vinci?