Leonardo da Vinci - Nominee

1452 - 1519

Leonardo Da Vinci conceived the first airplane, conceptualized a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull – and plate tectonics – while advancing the study of anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics – all conceived and detailed centuries before modern science would prove him right.  Considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time, his Mona Lisa and The Last Supper are among the most famous paintings ever created.  He was a man of extraordinary strength and physical beauty who never married; indeed there is no record of any woman in his life – not even a friendship – though he lived for 89 years.  When he was 24, he was arrested for sodomy – a not uncommon occurrence for an artist in 16th century Florence – but charge that was dismissed due a lack of witnesses who would testify.  His renowned artistic obsession with the nude male form was emblematic of the ever-changing court of remarkably beautiful young men with which he surrounded himself.  Of them all his longest association was with a young man, nicknamed Salai, who was his model, his companion and, most likely, his lover.  Their relationship spanned thirty years and it was to Salai that Da Vinci bequeathed the Mona Lisa – not surprising given speculation that it was actually Salai, and not a woman, who posed for the portrait.  As the quintessential “Renaissance Man” the scope and depth of Da Vinci’s interests were without precedent.  He is perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

Leonardo da Vinci Portrait

Demography

Gender Male

Sexual Orientation Gay

Gender Identity Cisgender

Ethnicity Caucasian/White

Nations Affiliated Italy France

Field(s) of Contribution

Architecture

Art

Engineer

Inventor

Music

Science

Commemorations & Honors

American Society of Mechanical Engineers Leonardo da Vinci Award (1978)

Leonardo Among the Members of the Fictional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1984)

Biannual Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts (1999)

Google Doodle Commemorating da Vinci's 533rd Birthday (2005)

Resources

Related Images

Leonardo da Vinci Self Portrait as a Young Man

Leonardo da Vinci Self Portrait Drawing as an Older Man

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa Painting

Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper Painting

Leonardo da Vinci's Naked Man Drawing

Leonardo da Vinci's Anatomy Drawing of a Man

Leonardo da Vinci's Flying Maching Drawing

Leonardo da Vinci's Cross Bow Drawing

Leonardo da Vinci Statue in Florence, Italy

Related Videos

Leonardo da Vinci Mini Biography From the Biography Channel

SciShow Great Minds: Leonardo da Vinci

Unexplained Mysteries 5 Hidden Things About Leonardo Da Vinci To Blow Your Mind

Authorship

Original Biography Author
Victor Salvo
Biography Edited By
Owen Keehnen
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell