MARCH 11, 2002 LEONARDO DA VINCI One of the greatest artists ever lived was also one of the worlds inventive geniuses-the Italian, Leonardo DA vinci. He was born in the small village of Vinci in Tuscany during the renaissance, a period a reawakening of interest in art, literature, and culture. Leonardo was interested in a wide range of subjects. He kept notebooks in which he asked many questions, answered those he could, and did sketches of his theories and his ideas for inventions. He even sketched his plan for an experimental airplane. He would ask questions like "how does a heart pump blood?' or "what happens when you sneeze?" He wanted to know scientifically what lay underneath the skin he was painting.

He did scientific drawings showing exposed mussels and bones. Leonardo studied painting In Florence, in the studio of Andrew Del verrocchio. A leading artist of the day. At the age of 30, Leonardo went to the city of Milan, where he worked for some time under the sponsorship of the duke of Milan. Leonardo was curious about the results of using different kinds of paints. Unfortunately, some of the paint experiments failed.

The paint did not last, and few of Leonard's paintings remain today. One of his best known works is his painting The Last Supper. This great painting shows Christ at supper with the apostles. This painting is famous for its use of perspective. The Last Supper is in poor condition today because Leonardo used his experimental paint.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo is possibly the best known and most loved painting in the world. The painting glows with a mysterious light from within. Leonardo was able to get this effect by building up many layers of very thin glazing on the painting. The painting is not a very large painting. It commands great attention at the Louvre in Paris, where it is usually exhibited.

In 1962, the French loaned the painting to the United States. It was exhibited in New York City and Washington D. C. At museums in both cities's, thousands of people stood in line to glimpse at the mysterious lady.

Only one of Leonardo's paintings is not in a museum or a collection in Europe. His portrait of Ginn evra de Be nci, an attractive young woman, hangs in the national gallery in Washington. Leonardo de Vinci was one of the most talented geniuses of the renaissance period. He left more than 7, 000 pages of notebooks with scientific ideas and theories and sketches to go with them. The great value of his work was not really understood until the 20 th century. A creator in art, a discoverer in many branches of science, and an inventor in technology-Leonardo DA Vinci also called the universal man..