1491 (The People's Chronology)
Beatrice d'Este marries Ludovico Sforza in the Castello of Pavia January 17, a date chosen as propitious by Il Moro after consultation with his court physician and astrologer. His former mistress Cecilia Gallerani gives birth May 1 to a boy, Cesare; Il Moro gives her a stately mansion near the Duomo at Milan, built originally by his ancestor Filippo Maria Visconti; he tells his bride the news of his son's birth and repeats his vow never to renew his liaison with Cecilia.
France's Charles VIII annexes Brittany by marrying Anne, duchess of Brittany. He thereby offends the German king, Maximilian I, to whose daughter Margaret he was affianced as a dauphin by his late father, Louis XI (see 1492).
England's Henry VII goes to war to prevent the French annexation of Brittany, making peace with Scotland to release his troops for action on the Continent.
The Bohemian-Hungarian king Ladislas II signs the Treaty of Pressburg acknowledging the Hapsburg right of succession.
Constantinople makes peace with Egypt's Mamelukes after a 6-year war. Egypt gains control of Cilicia in Anatolia.
Girolamo Savonarola, 39, begins denouncing the corruption at Florence and particularly that of Lorenzo de' Medici. The spiritual leader of the democratic party (the Piagnoni) preaches vehement sermons deploring the alleged licentiousness of the ruling class, the worldliness of the clergy, and the venality of secular life (see 1497).
Painting: Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci; The Nativity by Perugino, who supplements his triptych for Rome's Villa Albani (later Villa Torlonia) with Adoration of the Child, Crucifixion, and Saints; The Last Judgment (frescoes) for Breisach Cathedral by Martin Schongauer, who dies at Breisach February 2 at age 40.
Architecture, Real Estate
Hyderabad City is completed on the Musi River as the capital of an autonomous Muslim kingdom by Mohammed Quli of the Turkoman Qutub Shahi dynasty. Its man-made lakes serve as reservoirs and its new Charminar arch commemorates the end of a plague.
Spanish colonists plant sugar cane in the Canary Islands, where the cane flourishes.