Leonardo Da Vinci
Inventor, Anatomist, Designer, Mathematician, artist!
Leonardo's scientific and technical observations are found in his handwritten manuscripts, of which over 4000 pages survive, including the one pictured on the right, showing some rock formations (click on it to view an enlargement). It seems that Leonardo planned to publish them as a great encyclopedia of knowledge, but like many of his projects, this one was never finished. The manuscripts are difficult to read: not only did Leonardo write in mirror-image script from right to left, but he used peculiar spellings and abbreviations, and his notes are not arranged in any logical order. After his death his notes were scattered to libraries and collections all over Europe. While portions of Leonardo's technical treatises on painting were published as early as 1651, the scope and caliber of much of his scientific work remained unknown until the 19th century. Yet his geological and paleontological observations and theories foreshadow many later breakthroughs.