Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was born the 15th of April, 1452 in Anchiano (near Vinci) as the illegitimate son of ser Piero da Vinci and Caterina. While his father had a well-off social position and was a landowner (later on he become a notary in the region), his mother was of humble condition, probably a peasant. Later ser Piero had ten more children in his two last marriages, having been married four times altogether.
Leonardo spent his whole childhood in the locality of Vinci, surrounded by the Tuscan countryside of the Apennines. It is sure that Leonardo da Vinci became an acute observer of the anatomy, fauna and flora of the Tuscan landscape, judging by the tireless scientific spirit that characterized him his whole life.
Leonardo showed a tendency toward solitude since he was a child, and this might have been the cause or the consequence of his passion for the arts. He displayed this passion, for example, drawing mythological monsters of his invention. Once, Leonardo drew a shield whose principal motif was the “Medusa with dragons” which terrified his father when he casually found it.