04/15/2015 04:31 pm ET | Updated Apr 15, 2015

Leonardo Da Vinci, The Original Renaissance Man, Would Have Turned 563 Years Old Today

While to the non-art lovers of the world, April 15 is known primarily as tax day, the culture fiends among us recognize this most holy of holidays as the day a brilliant mind named Leonardo first entered the world -- 563 years ago to be exact.

Today we're celebrating Leonardo da Vinci, artist, scientist, inventor, philosopher and musician extraordinaire. Coinciding with his day of birth, an exhibition entitled "Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty" goes on view today at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, featuring a rare variety of drawings from Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, ranging from angelic portraits to scientific renderings.


Head of a Young Woman (Study for the Angel in the "Virgin of the Rocks"), about 1483-85, Leonardo da Vinci.

Born in 1452 to unmarried parents in Vinci, an area within the territory of Florence, Italy, Leonardo became an apprentice to the sculptor, goldsmith and painter Andrea del Verrocchio at the age of 14. Under Verrochio's tutelage, he discovered an immense talent and insatiable curiosity for the wonders of the world, leading him on a lifelong path filled with art, science and exploration.

From the smallest muscles in the human body to the grandest notions of the universe, Leonardo saw every detail as existing in relationship to the whole. His works maintained the perfect harmony he saw in the cosmos, where the eye could further both art and science through careful observation and eternal inquisitiveness. On this matter, most will agree: Leonardo da Vinci stands out among the most intriguing figures in history.

"Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty" runs from April 15 until June 14, 2015, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

  • "An Old Man and a Youth Facing One Another," circa 1500-1505, Leonardo da Vinci.
  • "Codex on the Flight of Birds," circa 1505, Leonardo da Vinci.
  • "Codex on the Flight of Birds," (enhanced detail: self-portrait), circa 1505, Leonardo da Vinci.
  • "Drapery Study of a Standing Figure," late 1470s, Leonardo da Vinci.
  • "Two Studies of Insects," ("Study of a Beetle" and "Study of a Dragonfly"), circa 1480-1500 and 1505, Leonardo da Vinci.
  • "Studies of Male Legs" (recto), circa 1485-87, Leonardo da Vinci.
  • "Head of an Old Man," 1490s, Leonardo da Vinci and assistant.
  • "Head of an Old Man," circa 1515, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci or Cesare da Sesto.
  • "Studies of the Legs of a Horse," Leonardo da Vinci.
  • "Head of a Young Woman," circa 1500-1510, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and follower.
  • "Head of a Woman," circa 1525-30, Michelangelo Buonarroti.
  • "Head of a Man in a Parade Helmet and the Head of a Hawk," studio of Michelangelo Buonarroti.
  • "Study of a male nude for the figure of Naasan’s wife in the Sistine Chapel" (recto), 1511, Michelangelo Buonarroti.
  • "Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci," 1879, James David Smillie
  • "Portrait of Michelangelo," 1546, Giulio di Antonio Bonasone


Leonardo Da Vinci Fun Facts