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100000 BC
In 2008 scientists unearthed human-made paint “toolkits” from the Blombos Cave in South Africa dating to about this time.
Links: Artist, South Africa, Anthropology, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
38800 BC
Wall decorations in the El Castillo cave in northwestern Spain dated to at least this time.
Links: Artist, Spain, Anthropology, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
33000 BC
Av ivory carving dating to about this time depicted a busty woman. It was found in 2008 in a German cave and was unveiled in 2009 by archaeologists who believed it to be the oldest known sculpture of the human form. The carving found in six fragments in Germany's Hohle Fels cave depicts a woman with a swollen belly, wide-set thighs and large, protruding breasts.
Links: Artist, Germany, Women, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
28000 BC
In 2012 archaeologist Bryce Barker dated the oldest piece of rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in the world: an Aboriginal work created about this time in the Northern Territory rock shelter known as Nawarla Gabarnmang.
Links: Australia, Artist, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
26000 BC
16000 BC
Africa’s oldest known rock art dated to about this time at a site in Namibia.
Links: Artist, Namibia, Anthropology, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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12500 BC
10500 BC
Paleolithic era cave drawings were created at the Atxurra cave in the northern Basque region during this period. Some 70 drawings in the cave were found in 2016 on ledges 1,000 feet underground.
Links: Artist, Spain, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1030
Fan Kuan (b.960), Chinese artist, died. His work included “Travelers and Streams and Mountains.”
Links: Artist, China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1100
1200
The 16-foot scroll titled “Qingming Shanghe Tu” (Qingming Festival on the River) was created in the 12th century. It was believed to have been painted by Zhang Zeduan, an artist of the Song Dynasty.
Links: Artist, China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1267
Giotto (d.1337), Italian painter, was born about this time.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1280
1354
Wu Chen, Chinese painter and master of calligraphy. He also mastered the play of void and presence at the heart of Chinese ink painting.
Links: Artist, China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1303
The Padova Chapel was completed. Giotto began painting a fresco cycle there with scenes from the Old and New Testaments.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1305
Giotto finished a cycle of frescoes inside the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1322
Zhao Mengfu (b.1254), Chinese calligrapher, died. His work included a hand scroll of “The Sutra on the Lotus of the Sublime Dharma.” Chao Meng-fu was a prince and descendant of the Song Dynasty's imperial family, and a Chinese scholar, painter and calligrapher during the Yuan Dynasty.
Links: Artist, China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1337 Jan 8
Giotto (b.c.1267), Italian artist, died. His frescoes showed a new realism and vitality. Art historians later held that the Renaissance dawned in Florence with Giotto's paintings. He cracked the formal stylization of Byzantine painting and reinvented the ancient art of creating depth on a flat surface. In 2000 art historians found evidence that Pietro Cavallini re-introduced depth in his paintings in Rome around 1190.
Links: Artist, Italy, Renaissance     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1348 Jun 9
Ambrogio Lorenzetti (b.1290), Italian painter of the Sienese school, died. His work included the 3 murals titled “War,” “Peace” and “Good Government,” in the Chamber of Peace of Siena’s town hall.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1350
Chinese landscape artist Huang Gongwang (1269-1354) painted "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains" about this time. The Yuan Dynasty painting was torn into two pieces some 360 years later by a private collector who tried to burn it as he was dying, but a relative quickly saved it from the flames Since 1949 one part has been stored in Taipei's Palace Museum, after the two sides separated during a civil war. In 2011 an exhibit in Taiwan reunited the two pieces.
Links: Artist, China, Taiwan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1370
Andrei Rublev, Russian icon painter, was born about this time.
Links: Artist, Russia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1387
Fra Angelico (d.1455), Giovanni da Fiesole, Italian painter was born about this time. His work included the "Annunciation." The 1997 book "Fra Angelico" by John T. Spike was hailed as the art book of the year.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1400
Roger Van Der Weyden (d.1464), Flemish painter, was born.
Links: Artist, Netherlands, Flanders     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1401
In Florence Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti entered a competition to create a set of new bronze doors for the baptistery of the cathedral.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1405
Andrei Rublev, Russian icon painter, painted the iconostasis of the Cathedral of the Gospel with Theophan the Greek; this was the 1st work executed in the classical Russian style, distinguished from the Byzantine by its great height and width and organization of multiple, varied icons along axes.
Links: Artist, Russia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1410
Andrei Rublev, Russian icon painter, painted the icon “The Old Testament Trinity,” which showed Abraham’s 3 angels. This is the only work known to be entirely his own.
Links: Artist, Russia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1416
Nanni di Banco, guild member of the Masters of Stone and Wood, installed his “Four Crowned Martyr Saints” at the Orsanmichele guild center.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1417
Donatello used central point perspective in his scene of St. George fighting the dragon.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1423
Ghiberti’s sculpture of St. Matthew was installed at the Orsanmichele guild center in Florence.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1425
Donatello created his hollow bronze statue of St. Louis of Toulouse.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1426
Hubert van Eyck (1385-1426) began work on “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,” later known as the Ghent Altarpiece. The 12-panel work was completed in 1432 by his younger brother Jan van Eyck. It was the first major oil painting in history.
Links: Artist, Belgium     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1427
Gentile De Fabriano (b.~1378), Italian painter, died about this time. His work included “The Adoration of the Kings” (1423).
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1428
1430
Andrei Rublev, Russian icon painter, took part in painting the frescoes of the Andronikov Monastery’s Church of the Savior.
Links: Artist, Russia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1428
Fra Angelico (c.1387-1455), Italian painter and Dominican friar, created his “Madonna of Humility.”
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1430 Jan 29
Andrei Rublev, Russian icon painter, died and was buried in the Andronikov Monastery. In 1966 the Russian film “Andrei Rublev” was made by Andrei Tarkovsky.
Links: Artist, Russia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1430
Hans Memling (d.1494), painter of the Flemish school, was born in Seligenstadt, Germany.
Links: Artist, Germany, Flanders     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1441 Jun
Jan/Johannes van Eyck (b.1395), Flemish painter (Lamb Gods), died in Brugge.
Links: Artist, Belgium, Flanders     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1453
Piero della Francesca (1415/1420-1492) began work on the "Legenda della Vera Croce" (The Legend of the True Cross) at the church of San Francesco in Arezzo. He was commissioned by the Bacci family of Arezzo to complete the work begun by Bicci de Lorenzo.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1455 Mar 18
Fra Angelico, Italian monk and Renaissance painter born around 1387 as Guido di Pietro, died. Fra Angelico gained a reputation as a painter under that name before joining the Dominicans in the 1420s. However, much of the influence found in his work is thought to come from Dominican teachings. He stayed at Dominican monasteries in Florence for most of his life doing a variety of religious painting until being called to Rome in 1445 by Pope Eugene IV, where he completed several chapel frescoes. Returning to Florence in the early 1450s, he died on a return visit to Rome in 1455 and is entombed at the church of Santa Maria della Minerva. In 1984 Fra Angelico was beatified by Pope John Paul II.
Links: Artist, Italy, Renaissance     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1462
1464
Piero della Francesca, Italian artist, painted “The Resurrection” about this time.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1464 Jun 18
Roger Van Der Weyden (b.1400), Flemish painter, died. He had mastered the new technique of oil painting and served as the official painter to the city of Brussels.
Links: Artist, Belgium, Netherlands, Flanders     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1472 Mar 28
Fra Bartolommeo (d.1517), Florentine Renaissance painter, was born.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1472
Hans Memling painted “The Virgin and Child With St. Anthony Abbot and Donor.”
Links: Artist, Germany, Flanders     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1473 Aug 5
Leonardo da Vinci (21) made his detailed drawing “Landscape drawing for Santa Maria Della Nave.” This was later recognized as his earliest known drawing.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1475
1476
Petrus Christus (b. c1415), Netherlandish painter, died in Brugge.
Links: Artist, Belgium, Netherlands     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1479
Gentile Bellini (1429-1507), Italian artist, was selected by the Venetian Republic to work at the court of the Ottoman sultan, Mehmed II, in Istanbul.
Links: Artist, Italy, Turkey, Venice     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1482
Luca della Robbia (b.1400), Italian artist, died. Luca developed the art of enameled relief sculpture. Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525), his nephew and student, continued the work.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1487
Hans Memling (c.1440-1494), Flemish painter, painted the diptych “Virgin and Child” and “Maarten van Nieuwenhove” (1463-1500), who was his patron.
Links: Artist, Netherlands, Flanders     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1489
A sculpture St. George and the Dragon, created by Bernt Notke, was unveiled in Stockholm, Sweden. He composed the dragon entirely of elk horns.
Links: Artist, Sweden     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1489
Giuliano da Sangallo made his wooden model of the Strozzi palace in Florence.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1490
Leonardo da Vinci painted “Lady with an Ermine” about this time. It featured Cecilia Gallerani (1473-1536), the favorite mistress of Lodovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1492 Oct 12
Pierro della Francesca (b.1415), Tuscany-born artist, died in Florence. He was later called the Father of the Renaissance. His work included “Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels.”
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1494 May 25
Jacopo Pontormo (d.1557), Italian painter (Sepulture of Christ), was born. He represented what Vasari called the terza maniera, the third or modern manner of painting.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1494 Aug 11
Hans Memling (b.1435), German-born master of Flemish painting, died in Brugge.
Links: Artist, Germany, Flanders     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1495
Leonardo da Vinci sketched a design of a parachute. Da Vinci also painted “La Belle Ferroniere in Milan about this time.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1495
Italian artist Andrea Mantegna painted an “Adoration of the Magi” about this time in which one of the three kings is seen offering the Christ child a cup filled with gold coins. The blue and white, Ming-style cup in the painting was the first time that a Ming work of art appeared in a European painting.
Links: Artist, Italy, China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1500
Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) of Nuremburg painted a self-portrait later described as the most gorgeous portrait ever painted.
Links: Artist, Germany     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1503
Lucas Cranach (1472-1553) the Elder, German artist ( Saxony), completed his painting “The Crucifiction.”
Links: Artist, Germany     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1505
Leonardo da Vinci painted “The Battle of Anghiari” on a wall in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. It commemorated a victory of Florentine forces over the ruling Medici. In 1563 the Medici, having regained power, hired Giorgio Vasari to cover up Leonardo’s work with a painting celebrating one of their own martial successes. It was later thought that Vasari hid the original behind his new work.
Links: Artist, Italy, Florence     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1505
Raphael painted his “Madonna of the Goldfinch” about this time for the wedding of a friend, Lorenzo Nasi. The painting was shredded in 1548 when Nasi’s palace collapsed. The work was pieced together and modern restoration, which began in 1999, was completed in 2008.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1507 Feb 23
Gentile Bellini, Venetian artist, died.
Links: Artist, Italy, Venice     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1507
Giorgione painted his “Sunset Landscape” about this time.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1508
Giorgione painted "The Tempesta," a landscape of a stormy setting with a town in the background, a soldier lower left and a woman nursing to the right. It is at the Academia Gallery in Venice. His work “the Three Philosophers” also dated to about this time.
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1510
Bernard Pallissy (d.1590), French ceramicist, painter and writer, was born.
Links: Artist, France, Writer, Ceramics     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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