Leonardo da Vinci

The artist who painted the Mona Lisa, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (commonly known as Leonardo da Vinci, or simply Leonardo), was one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance period. He was a true “Renaissance man”–not excelled not only in painting, but also in sculpture, music, writing, mathematics, astronomy, botany, and a number of other fields.
Leonardo was an illegitimate son, who lived and worked throughout various Italian city states (at that time, the nation-state of Italy had not yet been established) in the late 15th-early 16th centuries.

He is widely acclaimed as one of the most famous painters ever, and his work (both in painting, as well as in all the other fields that he was involved in) influenced a great many artists, scientists, and inventors.
One of his greatest masterpieces was the Mona Lisa, also known as “La Gioconda” (check out the Mona Lisa tab above for more info), a portrait of the wife of a wealthy Italian merchant. Another famous painting of his is The Last Supper, the widely recognized and highly acclaimed depiction of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion.

The life and work of Leonardo has given rise to much admiration and speculation, as well as myth and legend, and it has also inspired works of fiction, the most famous and controversial of which is the contemporary novel by Dan Brown, “The Da Vinci Code.”