Leonardo da Vinci, often referred to as the main figure of the Renaissance, was born in 1452, just outside the village of Vinci (in Italy).
Called "the first modern mind in history," Leonardo was denied an excellent education because of his status at birth. That fact hardly stopped his quest for knowledge, however. What he did not learn in school he learned by other means.
Endlessly curious, the young lad investigated everything he could in, and around, his village. He loved to watch, and draw, birds. Those observations helped him to study the laws of aerodynamics.
Many of Leonardo's drawings - about 6,000 pages - are owned by the British Monarchy and maintained at Windsor Castle. Some of his drawings, previously untested in real life, have been put to the test in recent years - with surprising results.
Clip from "Leonardo da Vinci," Episode 1: "The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything."
Online, courtesy BBC.