Painter, inventor, and all-around supergenius, Leonardo da Vinci rocked Renaissance Italy with his art and ideas. Check out the time line below to learn about the life of this legend.
1460s: Teenaged Leonardo moves to Florence, Italy, where he takes painting lessons. Using a technique called tempera, the artist mixes color pigments with water and egg yolk to make paint.
1480s: The genius starts scribbling down some 20,000 pages of ideas. (Can you say writer’s cramp?) He spells words backward and reverses each letter so his notes only look normal when reflected in a mirror. “Mirror writing” might have helped protect his ideas from snoops.
1490s: Leonardo sketches designs of a flying machine. His blueprints make him the first known person to seriously study ways for humans to take flight.
1495: Asked by the Duke of Milan to paint a mural for a dining room, Leonardo creates “The Last Supper.” People love the piece and Leonardo rockets to superstardom.
Text by Nicoletta Richardson, Art by Julien Canavezes