Leonardo da Vinci painted the "Mona Lisa" in the early 1500s. The model is believed to be Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. This masterpiece also is referred to as "La Gioconda," which is a play on her husband's name and the Italian word for "the jovial one."
Leonardo da Vinci may be best known for his works of art, which include drawings, paintings and sculptures, but he was a true Renaissance man, with skills in many areas and an insatiable curiosity for the world around him. He also had a fascination with science and engineering and kept daily journals. Numbering 13,000 pages and written in mirror-image, these journals include detailed drawings of his studies. A few of the inventions he mentioned in his journals include shoes that walk on water, flying machines and war machines.