Today in the Middle Ages: April 15, 1452

Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452. He became the prototype of the "Renaissance Man."

Leonardo's genius was first recognized in his painting, but he was gifted at sculpture, engineering, anatomy, and all the natural sciences. Contemporaries called him an extraordinarily handsome man with an attractive singing voice. His engineering sketches anticipate the invention of the helicopter, the tank and the machine gun.

Leonardo's Mona Lisa is perhaps the most famous painting on earth. His images and ideas continue to inspire new works of art to this day.