Dictionary of Art and Artists  
Dictionary of Photographers  
Dictionary of Writers and Philosophers  

Visual History of the World




From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
I. Prehistory
II. First Empires
III. The Ancient World
IV. The Middle Ages
V. The Early Modern Period
VI. The Modern Era
VII. The World Wars and Interwar Period
VIII. The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists


Visual History of the World





Visual History of the World - part V

The Early Modern Period



Timeline Five


Francis I of France (r. 1515-47), a popular king. His rich and cultured court introduces Italian ideas and art to the North
1519-21 The Spaniard Hernan Cortes defeats Aztecs in Mexico; 1532, Francisco Pizarro conquers Peru
Charles V of Spain elected Holy Roman Emperor (r. 1519-56); founder of Hapsburg dynasty
Suleiman I, Turkish sultan (r. 1520-66), raids the European continent, threatening Hungary, Austria, and Italy; begins a gradual Turkish conquest of the eastern Mediterranean islands over the next century
1524-25 Peasants' War in Germany, inspired by Martin Luther
1517 Martin Luther (1483-1546) posts "95 Theses," against Catholic practice of selling indulgences, on door of Wittenberg church, signaling the beginning of the Protestant Reformation
1527 Henry VIII of England, seeking a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, breaks with the Catholic church. 1534, his Act of Supremacy establishes the Church of England and confiscates Catholic church property
1527 Charles V of Spain sacks Rome, demoralizing the Italian states and signaling the end of Roman dominance
1533-84 Ivan the Terrible rules in Russia
1534 Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) founds Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
1541 John Calvin (1509-64) brings Reformation to the Swiss city of Geneva. His writings establish the rigorous Calvinist branch of Protestantism
1545 Pope Paul III (r. 1534-49), in response to the threat of Protestantism, calls the Council of Trent, first major conference on church reform. Its tenets provide the basis for the Catholic Counter Reformation, including a number of rules for artists depicting religious subjects. The council meets periodically until 1563

Wars of Lutheran against Catholic princes in Germany; 1555, Peace of Augsburg lets each sovereign decide the religion of his subjects
1556 Philip II reigns in Spain; territories include lands in the Americas, Italy, France, and the Netherlands as well as the Iberian Peninsula
Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603) succeeds to the English throne, fostering a period of prosperity, international trade, and exploration
1562-98 Henry IV's persecution of Protestants in France leads to religious wars
15681648 Netherlands revolt against Spain. 1579, Union of Utrecht affirms the unification of the Northern Netherlands; 1581, they declare independence from Spain
1571 Battle of Lepanto, off the Greek coast. Spanish and Venetian fleets defeat the Turks, beginning the decline of Turkish naval power
1560 John Knox, Scottish minister, founds Presbyterian branch of Protestant church

1588 Spanish Armada, aiming to attack England, defeated by English navy

1607 Colony of Jamestown, Virginia, first permanent settlement in North America, founded by English; 1620, Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth, in New England
1613 Romanov dynasty comes to power in Russia (deposed 1917)
1618-48 Thirty Years' War; much of Protestant Europe erupts in political and religious struggles against Catholic regimes

1625 Charles I rules England. Disputes with Parliament and autocratic measures lead, in 1642, to Civil War. 1649, Charles beheaded, ending the war and founding the Commonwealth (1649-53), under Oliver Cromwell
1630-42 Large-scale emigration of English settlers to North American colonies: 16,000 arrive in Massachusetts
1639 Japanese enforce policy of isolation from all Europeans, except a token Dutch trading post
1648 Treaty of Westphalia ends Thirty Years' War; Spain acknowledges the sovereignty of the Northern Netherlands

Publications of Cornelius Jansenius (Augustinus, 1640) lead to conflict with Jesuits. Preoccupied with internal strife, the papacy loses its dominant position in European politics

165254 Naval and mercantile competition between English and Dutch leads to war
1659 Louis XIV of France marries Maria Teresa, daughter of Philip IV of Spain; 1661, establishes autocratic regime (r. 1661-1715) with his influential adviser Jean-Baptiste Colbert
1660 Parliament proclaims Charles II king, restoring English monarchy
1666 Great Fire in London destroys over 450 acres of the city
1672-78 France and England wage war against Netherlands. William III of Orange beats back invasion of French forces
с. 1667 Russian church changes liturgy and ritual to conform to Greek practice. Secession from the church of the conservative "Old Believers"
1668 Society of Friends (Quakers) officially established in England

1679 English Parliament passes Habeas Corpus Act, which sets foundation for fair judicial procedure and prisoners' rights
1685 Louis XIV revokes Edict of Nantes (1598), which had granted Protestants some religious freedom. Mass emigration of educated Protestants ensues, a blow to French industry and commerce. In England, James II, a Catholic, succeeds to the throne and attempts to restore Catholicism
1688 The so-called Glorious Revolution in England: James II flees; Parliament passes Declaration of Rights, limiting the power of the monarchy
1689 Protestants William III of Orange and Mary rule England; new laws protect freedom of religion, establish annual parliaments, and guarantee individual liberty
Peter the Great (r. 1689-1725) rules Russia, with a program of westernization
1692 Witchcraft trials in Salem, Massachusetts
1682 Louis XIV's Four Articles are adopted in France, placing secular power over religious authority. Vehemently opposed by Pope Innocent XI (r. 1676-89)

1701 Frederick III crowns himself king of Prussia. Prussia gains international power through military strength
1702-13 War of Spanish Succession: extinction of the Hapsburg line in Spain leads to war among major European powers. At conclusion, Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, takes the Spanish throne as Philip V; beginning of Bourbon rule in Spain
1704 Defeat of French at Blenheim by English and allies, led by John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough
1707 Union of England and Scotland as the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Louis XV (r. 1715-74), king of France, consolidates absolute power of the monarchy
1721 Peter the Great reforms Russian church
government John Wesley (1703-91), with his brother,
Charles, founds the Methodist branch of
Protestantism in England

175666 Seven Years' War: England and Prussia fight Austria and France on lane and sea and throughout the colonies; called the French and Indian Wars in North America; 1769, French defeated at Quebec
Catherine the Great (r. 1762-96) increases the power, territory, and influence of Russia


Timeline Five


Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42), English poet and courtier under Henry VIII, translates Petrarch's sonnets and creates the English sonnet form

ARIOSTO  LUDOVICO (1474-1533), Italian poet and diplomat, publishes "Orlando Enraged", an epic poem

1501 Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine navigator in the service of Portugal, explores coast of Brazil
1511 First road map of Europe

Pieter Bruegel the Elder


El Greco (1541-1614)

1513 The Spaniard Vasco Nunez de Balboa crosses Panama and finds the Pacific Ocean
1516 Portuguese sailors reach China; 1543, Japan
1519-22 Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal circumnavigates the globe
1528 Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529) writes The Book of the Courtier


"The Prince", examining Renaissance political practice and thought


authors the satires Gargantua and Pantagruel

1547 Henry Howard translates
VERGIL's "The Aeneid" into English blank verse


Polish astronomer, publishes theory of the solar system in which the planets revolve around the sun; beginning of modern astronomy

1543 Andreas Vesalius (1514-64), court physician to Emperor Charles V, publishes first scientific study of human anatomy based on dissections

1550 Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) Italian painter, publishes "Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects"

LOPE DE VEGA (1562-1635), Spanish poet and playwright

SHAKESPEARE WILLIAM (1564-1616), English dramatist and poet "Sonnets"

JONSON BEN (1572-1637) "Volpone"

DONNE  JOHN (15731631),

English masters of metaphysical poetry and prose,
"Songs and Sonnets", "Elegies"

1556 Georgius Agricola (1494-1555) publishes De re metallica, on metallurgy
1569 Gerhard Mercator (1512-94) designs correct projection of the earth onto a flat map, for accurate navigation charts
с. 1572 Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), Danish astronomer, produces a
catalogue of stars;
Johannes Kepler
(15711630), German astronomer, discovers the elliptical orbits of the planets

Caravaggio (1571-1610)

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)

Velazquez (

Rembrandt (

Vermeer (

William Hogarth

Francois Boucher


1588 St. Theresa of Avila writes Interior Castle, a visionary text;

MONTAIGNE MICHEL, French thinker, writes "Essays"

SPENSER EDMUND, English poet, publishes The Faerie Queens

с. 1575 Potatoes, maize, tobacco, cocoa, coffee imported from the Americas to Europe
1578 Li Shih-chen, Chinese physician, publishes an illustrated compendium of medicines
1582 Pope Gregory XIII reforms the calendar, aligning it more accurately with astronomy; in order to do so, he decrees that Thursday, October 4. be followed by Friday, October 15

1604 Carel van Mander publishes biographical history of Dutch and Flemish painting

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES (1547 1616) writes Don Quixote

1607 Claudio
Monteverdi's Orpheus is performed in Mantua, one of the first operas

BENEDICTUS DE SPINOZA (Baruch) (1632-77), Dutch philosopher

с. 1600 Invention of the telescope and microscope, based on new lens-grinding techniques developed in Holland
1610 Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), in Italy, first uses the telescope to view the stars and planets; his conclusions support the Copernican system and are banned by the Catholic church in 1633

1636 CORNEILLE  PIERRE (1606-84), French dramatist, writes Le Cid

DESCARTES RENE (1596-1650), French philosopher and scientist, writes Discourse on Method

MOLIERE (1622-73), French playwrights

RACINE JEAN (1639-99), French playwrights

1649 Francisco Pacheco (1564-1654), Spanish historian, publishes The Art of Painting
1628 William Harvey, English physician (1575-1657), describes the circulation of blood
1636 Founding of Harvard College, Boston
1642 Blaise Pascal (1623-62) invents first adding machine
Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), Italian designer of fine stringed instruments
1648 Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture founded in Paris

1667 MILTON  JOHN (1608-74), English poet, writes "Paradise Lost"

Joseph Addison (1672-1719), English essayist, editor with the writer and statesman Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) of the Spectator, a literary and satirical periodical
1672 Giovanni Pietro Bellori (1613-96), Italian commentator on Baroque art, publishes Lives of the Modern Painters
1662 Royal Society of London founded by Charles II, a forum for scientific activity for two centuries; 1662, Boyle's Law describes the properties of gas pressure
1663 Charles Lebrun, at Royal Academy in Paris, institutes strict guidelines
for art
1665 In England Robert Hooke publishes his discovery of cells and microorganisms
1673 Pendulum clock invented by the Dutchman Christiaan Huvgens

LOCKE JOHN (1632-1704), founder of English school of empirical philosophy

Baroque composers:
Scarlatti (1659-1725), Italian

Vivaldi (c. 1678-1741), Italian

Johann Sebastian
Bach (1685-1750), German

George Frederick
Handel (1685-1759), German

VOLTAIRE (1694-1778), French critical writer, "Candide"
"Age of Louis XIV"

NEWTON ISAAC (1642-1727)

publishes theory of the laws of motion, including the principle of gravity, in England; 1704, his Optics investigates the nature and behavior of light

1698 Steam engine invented in England by Thomas Savery

1711 POPE ALEXANDER (1688-1744), English poet, writes "The Rape of the Lock"

HUME DAVID (1711-76), Scottish philosopher, "The Natural History of Religion"

ROUSSEAU JEAN JACQUES (1712-78), French philosopher and novelist

DIDEROT (1713-84), editor of first Encyclopedia, in France

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-68), German art theorist and antiquarian
1705 Edmund Halley (1656-1742), in England, discovers similarities in the paths of comets
1717 Temperature gradation system proposed by Gabriel Fahrenheit, in Holland

1726 SWIFT JONATHAN (16671745), Irish political satirist, writes Gulliver's Travels

Thomas Gainsborough (17271788). British painter.

Geographical survey of France begun, the first such topographical survey
1745 Discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum
1749 George Leclerc (1707-88) writes a treatise on natural history in England


Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)

Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), (comic images of familiar social types)


1755 Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) compiles a Dictionary of the English Language
1753 Carl Linnaeus
, Swedish botanist (1707 78), writes the Species Plantarum, the definitive modern classification system for plants
1764 Invention of the spinning jenny and cotton gin (1793) hastens mechanization of textile production


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