FROM THE GREAT CITIES OF EUROPE
TO THE FOUR CORNERS
OF THE WORLD
1115: 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
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.
1285: Arnolfo di Cambio constructs the ciborium for San
Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome, influenced by the Parisian
1306: Dante Alighieri begins writing the Divina
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.
1335: Giotto paints a (lost) Gloria,
surrounded by knights and heroes,in Milan.
1344: Simone Martini dies at Avignon, having lived there
at the papal court for four years.
1348: devastating plague epidemic in Europe.
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
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
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
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
1550: first edition of Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the
Most Excellent Architects, Painters, and Sculptors published
1566: rebellion in Netherlands against Spanish rule.
1575: El Greco settles permanently in Spain after
prolonged stays in Venice and Rome.
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
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
1664: death of Zurbaran, the great interpreter of the
Golden Age of Spanish painting.
1665: Bernini is summoned to Paris to extend the
1666: the Great Fire of London.
1682: the court of Louis XIV moves to the Palace of
1683: the Turks besiege Vienna.
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
1708: the alchemist Bottger discovers how to make
porcelain, which spreads with great success throughout
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.