Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in the Italian town of Vinci in the Tuscan region. The town of Vinci lies in the lower valley of the Arno River.
Leonardo was an illegitimate child born out of wedlock to Caterina, a peasant woman. His father was a local lawyer by the name of Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest minds of the Renaissance period that followed the Middle Ages. He was an artist, a painter, a sculptor, an engineer and a scientist. The Mona Lisa is one of his most famous paintings. He died at a place called Clos Luce in France on May 2, 1519.