Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in the Tuscan town of Vinci. He was a talented artist who painted some of the world’s most famous works — including Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and The Virgin and Child with St. Anne — but he was also an engineer, inventor and scientist.
While working on this painting, Leonardo invented his famous sfumato technique. This is a method of painting that uses light and shadow to give an object a three-dimensional appearance.
He created many designs for machines that were far ahead of his time, including a flying machine and an armored vehicle.
Da Vinci had an interest in the mechanics of movement and how machines worked. In fact, he designed several devices that were centuries ahead of his time including an armored vehicle with caterpillar tracks that could climb hills without getting stuck like current tanks do today. His design also included a cannon that could shoot over walls using gunpowder instead of arrows or spears like earlier weapons did at the time.