As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was the century which lasted from 1401 to 1500 Common Era.
Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, falls to emerging Ottoman Turks, forcing Western Europeans to find a new trade route.
The Papacy was split in two parts in Europe for decades, until the Council of Constance.
Under the rule of Yongle Emperor, who built the Forbidden City and commanded Zhenghe to explore the world overseas, Ming Dynasty's territory reached pinnacle. Tamerlane established a major empire in the Middle East and Central Asia, in order to revive the Mongolian Empire. The Inca Empire rose to prominence in South America.
Spanish and Portuguese explorations led to the first European sightings of the Americas and the sea passage along Cape of Good Hope to India, in the last decade of the century. After these first sightings by Europeans, transportation increased to Europe from America. Native indigenous cultures that lived within the continent of the Americas had already developed advanced civilizations that attest to thousands of years of human presence; sophisticated engineering, irrigation, agriculture, religion and government existed before the arrival of the Spanish and the Portuguese. The idea that Europeans "discovered" America can lead to misunderstanding the true nature of the encounter between two distinct and independent civilizations, namely European and Indigenous American.
In European history, the 15th century is seen as the bridge between the Middle Ages, the Early Renaissance, and the Early modern period.
Portrait of Scanderbeg, ca. 1648.
The map of Ming dynasty
(1433), based on The Historical Atlas of China
- Abu Sa'id al-Afif, a Samaritan physician.
- Afonso de Albuquerque (1453–1515) was a Portuguese nobleman, naval general officer whose military and administrative activities conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian ocean. Generally considered as a world conquest military genius by means of his successful strategy.
- Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, Renaissance ruler (1443–1490).
- George Kastrioti, Skenderbeg – Albanian Prince who resisted the Ottomans for almost 30 years (1443–1468).
- Ferdinand II of Aragon, co-ruler of Spain with Isabella I of Castile and responsible with her for the unification of Spain (1452–1516).
- Johannes Gutenberg, European inventor of printing with movable type (c. 1398 – 1468)
- Constantine XI,The last Byzantine Emperor and Roman Emperor.He lived from 1404–1453.
- Henry the Navigator Infante Henrique, Duke of Viseu (1394–1460); infante (prince) of the Portuguese House of Aviz and an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire, being responsible for the beginning of the European worldwide explorations.
- Henry V of England, the English King who won the famous Battle of Agincourt in 1415 (1387–1422).
- Henry VII of England, English King and founder the Tudor dynasty (1457–1509).
- The Princes in the Tower, Edward V of England (1470–1483?) and his brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York (1473–1483?), two sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville.
- John Hunyadi, Regent of Kingdom of Hungary, won the Siege of Belgrade in 1456 (1387–1456)
- Jan Hus, Bohemian religious thinker and reformer (c. 1369–1415).
- Isabella I of Castile, co-ruler of Spain with Ferdinand II of Aragon and responsible for the unification of Spain and the discovery of the New World (1451–1504).
- Ivan III of Russia, Grand Duke of Moscow who ended the dominance of the Golden Horde over the Rus (1440-1505)
- Joan of Arc, military commander and national heroine of France (1412–1431).
- Kazimierz IV Jagiellon King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1427–1492).
- Louis XI, King of France (1423–1483).
- Mehmed II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Conqueror of Constantinople (1432–1481).
- Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh Religion (1469).
- Sejong the Great of Joseon, a Korean monarch who developed hangul, the native Korean alphabet (1397–1450).
- Stephen III of Moldavia, also known as Stephen the Great, ruler of Moldavia, national hero of Romanians for long resistance to the Ottomans (1437–1504)
- Richard III of England, last English King of the House of York, last of the House of Plantagenet (1452–1485).
- Mir Chakar Khan Rind (1468–1565), a Baloch king.
- Vlad III Dracula, Prince of Wallachia who led the defense of his territory against the expanding Ottoman Empire (1431–1476).
- Oba Ewuare, transformed the city state of Benin into the Benin Empire.
Visual artists, architects, sculptors, printmakers, illustrators
- Bartolomé Bermejo (c. 1440 – 1498), Spanish painter who adopted Dutch painting techniques and conventions.
- Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450 – 1516), Early Netherlandish painter. Many of his works depict sin and human moral failings.
- Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445 – 1510), Italian painter.
- Dirk Bouts (c. 1410/1420 – 1475), Early Netherlandish painter.
- Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1446), invents one-point perspective, leads innovation in Italian architecture.
- Robert Campin (c. 1375 – 1444), the Master of Flémalle, first great master of Early Netherlandish painting.
- Petrus Christus (c. 1410/1420 – 1475/1476), Early Netherlandish painter.
- Gerard David (c. 1460 – 1523), Early Netherlandish painter and manuscript illuminator known for his brilliant use of color.
- Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) was a German painter, printmaker and theorist from Nuremberg, Germany.
- Barthélemy d'Eyck; (c. 1420 – after 1470) was an Early Netherlandish artist who worked in France and probably in Burgundy Early Netherlandish painter and manuscript illuminator. He was active between about 1440 to about 1469.
- Dionisius (c. 1440 – 1502), Russian painter
- Hubert van Eyck (c. 1366 – 1426), Flemish painter and older brother of Jan van Eyck.
- Jan van Eyck (before c. 1395 – before 1441), Early Netherlandish painter, considered one of the best Northern European painters of the 15th century.
- Juan de Flandes (1460–1519), Early Netherlandish painter who was active in Spain from 1496 to 1519 at the court of Isabella I of Castile.
- Jean Fouquet (1420–1481) French painter of both panel painting and manuscript illumination, inventor of the portrait miniature.
- Piero della Francesca (c. 1415–1492) Italian painter
- Nicolas Froment (c. 1435 – c. 1486), French painter.
- Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378–1455) was an Italian artist of the early Renaissance best known for works in sculpture and metalworking.
- Hugo van der Goes (c. 1440 – 1482 or 1483), Early Netherlandish painter.
- Jean Hey (c. 1475 – c. 1505), now generally identified with the artist formerly known as the Master of Moulins, Early Netherlandish painter.
- Hans Holbein the Elder (c. 1460 – 1524), German painter, woodcut artist, illustrator of books and church window designer. He and his brother Sigismund Holbein painted religious works in the late Gothic style.
- Limbourg brothers, (Herman, Paul, and Johan; 1385–1416), Dutch Renaissance miniature painters from the city of Nijmegen.
- Simon Marmion (c. 1425 – 1489) French, or Burgundian, painter of panels and illuminated manuscripts.
- Masaccio, (c. 1401 – 1428), Italian painter.
- Hans Memling (c. 1430 – 1494), Early Netherlandish painter, born in Germany.
- Andrei Rublev (c. 1360 – c. 1430), Russian painter.
- Enguerrand Quarton (c. 1410 – c. 1466) was a French painter and manuscript illuminator.
- Leonardo da Vinci, (1452–1519), Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer.
- Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400 – 1464), considered one of the greatest exponents of Early Netherlandish painting.
See links above for Italian Renaissance painting and Renaissance sculpture.
, from the Grand Testament de Maistre François Villon,
- Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, linguist, philosopher, and cryptographer, and general Renaissance humanist polymath.
- Joseph Albo (Hebrew: יוסף אלבו) (c. 1380 – 1444) was a Jewish philosopher and rabbi who lived in Spain. The author of Sefer ha-Ikkarim ("Book of Principles"), the classic work on the fundamentals of Judaism.
- Marsilio Ficino, Significant translator of Plato's works (1433–1481).
- John Lydgate (c. 1370 – c. 1451) was a monk and poet, born in Lidgate, Suffolk, England.
- Sir Thomas Malory (c. 1405 – March 14, 1471) was an English writer, the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur.
- Pal Engjëlli (1416-1470) was an Albanian Catholic clergyman, Archbishop of Durrës and Cardinal of Albania who in 1462 wrote the first known sentence in Albanian.
- Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494), Italian Renaissance philosopher. He is famed for the events of 1486, when at the age of twenty-three, he wrote the famous Oration on the Dignity of Man which has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance", and a key text of Renaissance humanism.
- Afanasy Nikitin (? - 1472), Russian merchant, traveler and writer.
- Thomas Occleve (c. 1368 – 1426), English poet.
- Reginald Pecock (c. 1395 – 1460), was an English prelate and writer.
- Christine de Pizan, French writer (1364–1430).
- François Villon, French poet (c. 1431 – 1474).
Musicians and Composers
- Adrien Basin (c. 1457 – 1476; died after 1498), Franco-Flemish composer, singer, and diplomat of the Burgundian school of the early Renaissance.
- Gilles Binchois, (c. 1400 – 1460), Franco-Flemish composer, one of the earliest members of the Burgundian School.
- Antoine Busnois (c. 1430 – 1492), French composer and poet of the early Renaissance Burgundian School.
- Guillaume Dufay, (c. 1397 – 1474), Franco-Flemish composer and music theorist.
- John Dunstaple (c. 1390 – 1453), English composer of polyphonic music.
- Hayne van Ghizeghem (c. 1445 – 1472 or possibly later; New Grove says he died between 1472 and 1497), Flemish composer of the early Renaissance Burgundian School.
- Nicolas Grenon (c. 1375 – 1456), French composer of the early Renaissance.
- Robert Morton (c. 1430 – 1479), English composer of the early Renaissance.
- Johannes Ockeghem, (c. 1410 – 1497), Flemish composer.
- Leonel Power (c. 1370 to 1385 – 1445), English composer of the late Medieval and early Renaissance eras.
- Johannes Tapissier (c. 1370 – 1408 to 1410), French composer and teacher of the late Middle Ages.
- Jacobus Vide (c. 1405 – 1433), Franco-Flemish composer of the transitional period between the medieval period and early Renaissance.
- Josquin des Prez (c. 1450 – 1521), Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance.
Science, invention and philosophy
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
List of 15th century inventions
- ^ Mueller, Peter O. (1993) Substantiv-Derivation in Den Schriften Albrecht Durers, Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-012815-2.
- ^ also sometimes in contemporary documents Barthélemy de Cler, der Clers, Deick d'Ecle, d'Eilz – Harthan, John, The Book of Hours, p.93, 1977, Thomas Y Crowell Company, New York, ISBN 0-690-01654-9
- ^ Unterkircher, Franz (1980). King René's Book of Love (Le Cueur d'Amours Espris). New York: G. Braziller. ISBN 0-8076-0989-7.
- ^ Tolley
- ^ Brigstocke, 2001, p. 338
- ^ "Hans Holbein". Catholic Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 06 February 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070206105041/http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07385a.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
- ^ Platt, Colin (1996). King Death: The Black Death and its aftermath in late-medieval England. London: UCL Press Limited. ISBN 1-85728-313-9.
- ^ "Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni, Conte" in Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge, volume 15, copyright 1991. Grolier Inc., ISBN 0-7172-5300-7
- ^ Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486) http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world_civ_reader/world_civ_reader_1/pico.html
Tolley, Thomas (2001). "Eyck, Barthélemy d'". In Hugh Brigstocke. The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866203-3.
Decades and years