Europe, ca.1370



Gothic Era

St Bernard joins the Cistercian abbey of Clairvaux in northern France.

1140: Abbot Suger initiates significant architectural innovations in the abbey of Saint-Denis, which anticipate the great age of Gothic art.

1182: Nicholas of Verdun, sculptor and enameller of the Mosan school, works at Klosterneuburg, near Vienna; St Francis born in Assisi.

1215: Domingo de Guzman (St Dominic) founds the Order of Preachers.

1220: Frederick II of Sweden, King of Sicily and Germany, crowned emperor.

1242: completion of Durham Cathedral, initiating the English Gothic style.







1255: the Palace of the Popes is built, a rare example of French taste influencing Italian architecture.

1266: Angevins rule kingdom of Sicily.

1274: Death of St Thomas Aquinas.

Arnolfo di Cambio constructs the ciborium for San Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome, influenced by the Parisian rayonnant style.

1306: Dante Alighieri begins writing the Divina Commedia.

1309: Pope Clement V removes papal seat to Avignon.

1311: Duccio di Buoninsegna paints his Maesta for the high altar of Siena Cathedral.

1326: Jean Pucelle illuminates a famous Bible, today housed in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

1350: the eccentric painter Vitale degli Equi is active in Bologna.

Giotto paints a (lost) Gloria,
surrounded by knights and heroes,in Milan.

Simone Martini dies at Avignon, having lived there at the papal court for four years.

1348: devastating plague epidemic in Europe.


Europe, ca.1500



The Renaissance

1401: death of Flemish sculptor Claus Sluter.

1404: John the Fearless succeeds his father as Duke of Burgundy, inheriting Flanders from his mother and playing a dominant role at the French court.

c.1425: birth of French miniaturist and painter Jean Fouquet, notable for his humanistic sense of form and space.

1428: death of Masaccio, aged only 28.

1442: Alfonso V of Aragon and Sicily conquers kingdom of Naples and lays the foundations for Spanish domination in Europe.

1443: arrival of Donatello in Padua begins the spread of Renaissance forms through northern Italy.

1464: death of Filippo Brunelleschi, Florentine architect and sculptor, fundamental figure of early Renaissance.

1492: Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile conquer Granada, last Arab kingdom in Spain.

1494: Charles VIII, having married Anne, heiress to Brittany, becomes king of Italy.

1517: Martin Luther launches Protestant religious reform.

1519: Charles of Hapsburg, lord of Flanders and king of Spain, elected emperor as Charles V

1527: imperial troops invade Italy and ransack Rome.

1545: opening of Council of Trent, convened to reunite the church.

1548: Turkish architect Sinan builds mosque in Ahmed Pasha, Istanbul.

1550: first edition of Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Architects, Painters, and Sculptors published in Florence.

1566: rebellion in Netherlands against Spanish rule.

1575: El Greco settles permanently in Spain after prolonged stays in Venice and Rome.



Europe, ca.1600



The 17th Century: the Age of Spectacle

1598: the edict of Nantes puts an end to the religious wars in France; Catholicism is recognized as the state religion but the Huguenots are granted leave to worship.

1603: the reign of James I of England, the son of Mary Stuart, begins.

1604: the Dutch painter van Mander publishes his Book of Painting, a collection of biographies of northern artists in the manner of Vasari; in Paris, the Place Royale is laid out, now the Place des Vosges.

1624: Cardinal Richelieu, now Prime Minister, holds the reins of French politics.

1625: the Dutchman Pieter van Laer, known as II Bamboccio, is in Rome; his work will inspire the so-called bamboccianti, painters of gypsy and peasant life.

1633: Galileo appears before the Inquisition for his acceptance of the Copernican system.

1633—1639: Pietro da Cortona paints the fresco of the Triumph of Divine Providence on the ceiling of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome.

1643: Louis XIV the Sun King, accedes to the throne of France, under the regency of his mother Anne of Austria.

1644: the rule of Queen Christina of Sweden begins.

1648: the Treaty of Westphalia marks the end of the bloody Thirty Years' War; Spain formally recognizes the independence of the United Provinces.

1656: birth of Fischer von Erlach, the Austrian architect.

1664: death of Zurbaran, the great interpreter of the Golden Age of Spanish painting.

1665: Bernini is summoned to Paris to extend the Louvre palace.

1666: the Great Fire of London.

1682: the court of Louis XIV moves to the Palace of Versailles.

1683: the Turks besiege Vienna.






Europe, ca.1700



The Splendours of the 18th Century

1700: death of Charles II of Hapsburg, King of Spain; his designated successor is Philip V, nephew of Louis XIV.
1703: Peter the Great,Tsar of Russia, founds the city of St Petersburg.

1707: the Union between England and Scotland creates Great Britain.

1708: the alchemist Bottger discovers how to make porcelain, which spreads with great success throughout Rococo Europe.

1715: the reign of Louis XV begins in France.

1720: birth of etcher and architect Piranesi, known for his engravings of ancient Rome.

1722: building begins of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, by von Hildebrandt, a great exponent of Austrian late Baroque architecture.

1752: Francois de Cuvillies, refined interpreter of Rococo decoration, moves to Munich as court architect.

1740: Frederick II is elected King of Prussia, an example of 18th-century Enlightenment despotism.

1746: birth of Francisco Goya, Spanish painter who straddled the development of art in the 17th and 18th centuries.

1750: death of Juste-Aurele Meissonnier, French architect and engraver and the first theorist and interpreter of the rocaille taste.

1754: building of the Kungliga Slottet palace in Stockholm. 1756: birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg.

1762: Catherine II of Russia, known as Catherine the Great, accedes to the throne.

1769: Watt patents the first steam engine, c.1770: the Louis XVI style spreads in furnishings.

c.1775: work on the Hermitage, designed by Feliten, begins in St Petersburg.

1785: death of the Venetian painter Pietro Longhi.




Asia, ca.1700



Artistic Cultures of Asia & the Americas

AD263: Chinese mathematician Liu Hui fixes value of Greek pi at 3.14159.

375: in India, the Gupta Empire attains its maximum expansion.

550: in Central America, the Maya civilization reaches its apex of splendour.

622: Muhammad leaves Mecca for Yathrib (Medina), thus initiating Muslim chronology.

c.750: technique of paper manufacture spreads from China to India.

980: birth of Persian philosopher and scientist Avicenna, author of The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopaedia that became known to the West through its Latin translation.

900: golden period of Japanese culture commences, including the monogatari literary genre.

969-973: foundation of city of Cairo, capital of Islamic caliphate of Fatimids.

c.1000: movable-type printing invented in China.

1198: death of Arab-Spanish philosopher and scientist Averroe, famous for his comments on Aristotle's writings.

1200: Incas settle in Cuzco and Aztecs in the valley of Mexico.

1260: paper money circulates in China.

1365: Tamerlane proclaims himself heir to Genghis Khan and restores Mongol Empire.

1392: Choson kingdom established in Korea, destined to last until early 20th century.

1440: under the rule of Montezuma II, Aztecs extend power throughout central-southern Mexico.

1492: Christopher Columbus lands on shores ofWest Indies.

1519: Spaniard Hernan Cortes conquers Mexico.

1635: Japanese shogun Togkugawa Iemitsu persecutes Christians and prohibits foreign trade.

1658: Indian Moghul empire reaches its zenith.

1722: Afghans conquer Persian Empire.

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