The archetypal Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci draws wide admiration for his unequaled range of intellectual passions. The creator of the Mona Lisa and other artistic masterpieces in the second half of the 1400s and early 1500s was also an accomplished musician, entertainer, scientist and engineer whose inventions included ball bearings, instruments to measure the specific gravity of solids, and fantastic war machines (although he abhorred the "most bestial insanity" of battle).