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Junior Warden Challenge 7: Leonardo da Vinci

Illustration of Palace wardens

Holly and Rudy ©

Hello from Holyroodhouse!

Instead of famous royalty, in this challenge we are going to find out about a famous artist – Leonardo da Vinci.

There are lots of Leonardo's drawings in the Royal Collection.

It is one of the biggest art collections in the world.

Kings and queens have added to it for the last 500 years, right back to the time of Henry VIII.

Charles II was a big fan of Leonardo da Vinci and he collected more than 600 of his drawings. 

Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci

A Portrait of Leonardo, Attributed to Francesco Melzi, RCIN 912726 ©



Leonardo da Vinci is possibly history’s most famous artist. Let’s begin with some facts about his life:

He was born in in 1452 near the town of Vinci in Italy. Leonardo da Vinci means Leonardo from Vinci.

One of his most famous paintings is the Mona Lisa, which is in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

He wrote back-to-front, from right to left across the page. The easiest way to read his writing is to hold it up to a mirror! 

Leonardo has been described as ‘the most curious man who ever lived’.

He was known for being an expert at many things, not just a great artist but also an inventor, a scientist, an architect, a mathematician and more.


Find out more about Leonardo da Vinci with this interactive game:

Inside the amazing mind of Leonardo da Vinci (this game requires the lastest browser)

Challenge 1: Guess the mystery object

Drawing by Leonardo da Vinci

RCIN 912656 ©

Each challenge we show you a mystery object linked to the person we’ve been learning about.

Here is one of Leonardo's drawings.

Use the clues and see if you can work out what he has drawn.

Leonardo dreamed of making a flying machine

He wanted to understand how to keep an object in the air

This drawing is part of his research - what does it show?


Find out if you were right in the next challenge!

Challenge 2: Complete one of the activities below

Illustration of Palace warden



Before we go, let's look at the answers to the last challenge.

We showed you a letter, signed by Bonnie Prince Charlie while he was staying at the Palace. 

We asked you:

1) What date was it written on? 26 SEPTEMBER 1745

2) What time does he want volunteers to meet him at the Palace? 2PM


We have one final challenge!

In the next challenge we will be exploring what happens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse when Her Majesty The Queen comes to stay!

If this is the last challenge that you have wanted to complete ask your teacher, parent or carer to email us at [email protected] and we will send you your Junior Warden Challenge certificate!