Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous men from the Renaissance because he was an 'all-rounder': he was a famous artist, scientist, inventor and engineer. He was born in 1542 in Vinci, a small town in Tuscany. It was from the town of Vinci that Leonardo took his name - 'da Vinci' means 'from Vinici' in Italian. When he was 17 Leonardo moved to Florence - the great centre for art and science in Italy in the Renaissance. In Florence he became a student of Verrocchio, who is another important artist. Leonardo went on to paint many paintings, most of them of religious subjects for churches. However, his most famous painting is the Mona Lisa - the smiling woman - which is in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
As well as his paintings, Leonardo invented many different types of machines - things like flying machines, machines for pumping water and war machines. Although he drew many machines in his notebooks, probably very few of them were actually ever made.