January 5: Death of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, at the battle of Nancy; he is succeeded by his daughter, Mary of Burgundy; Louis XI reclaims the duchy of Burgundy for the French crown.
August 18: Marriage of Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian of Austria, heir of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor.
Birth of Anne of Brittany, daughter of Duke Francis II of Brittany and Margaret of Foix.


Death of René, duke of Anjou and claimant to the throne of Naples and Jerusalem.


Jean Bourdichon succeeds Jean Fouquet as painter to the king.


Death of Mary of Burgundy, leaving two young children, Philip the Fair and Margaret of Austria.


Betrothal of Charles VIII and Margaret of Austria.
August 30: Death of Louis XI; Anne of France and Pierre of Beaujeu serve as governors on behalf of Charles VIII.


The Estates General meet in Tours; they would not be called again until 1560.


Henry Tudor defeats Richard III of England, gaining the throne as Henry VII.
The Crucifixion retable attributed to Jean Poyer is painted for the Charterhouse of Liget.


July 28: Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier, in which the royal forces, led by Louis II de la Trémoille and organized by Anne of France, defeat Francis II of Brittany, resulting in royal control over the marriage alliances of his daughters; Francis II's ally Louis of Orléans is imprisoned.
September 9: Death of Francis II, duke of Brittany; the duchy is inherited by his daughter Anne of Brittany, then eleven years old.
Death of Jean II, duke of Bourbon, followed by that of Charles, cardinal of Bourbon; Pierre of Beaujeu becomes duke of Bourbon.


Anne of Brittany marries the widowed Maximilian of Austria by proxy.


Birth of Suzanne of Bourbon, only child of Pierre of Bourbon and Anne of France.
December 6: Marriage of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany.


Birth of the dauphin, Charles Orland, son of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany.
Christopher Columbus lands in the West Indies on his first voyage of exploration on behalf of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, "the Catholic Kings" of Spain.
Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia is elected pope as Alexander VI.


Treaty of Senlis settles territorial disputes between France and the Netherlands, permitting the return of Margaret of Austria and her dowry to the Netherlands.


Charles VIII campaigns in Italy. Birth of Francis of Angoulême (the future Francis I), the son of Charles of Angoulême and Louise of Savoy.
Jean Hey paints the Ecce Homo for Jean Cueillette, notary and secretary to Charles VIII.


February 22: Charles VIII and his army enter Naples in triumph.
July 6: At the battle of Fornova, the army of Charles VIII is defeated by the League of Venice, hastening the French departure from Italy.
December 16: Death of the dauphin, Charles Orland.


Death of Charles of Angoulême, leaving his nineteen-year-old widow, Louise of Savoy, to raise their children, Marguerite and Francis.
Habsburg-Spanish double marriage: Philip the Fair, heir of the Burgundian Netherlands, marries Joanna of Castile, while his sister Margaret of Austria marries John, prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish thrones.


Michelangelo is commissioned to make the Pietà for the tomb of the French cardinal Jean Villiers de La Grolais in Rome.


April 7: Death of Charles VIII from an accidental injury; Louis of Orléans inherits the throne as Louis XII. He sues for divorce from his wife, Jeanne of France, sister of Charles VIII, in order to marry Anne of Brittany.


January 8: Marriage of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany.
Louis XII invades Italy, capturing the duchy of Milan from Ludovico Sforza, claiming it as his right through his grandmother, Valentina Visconti, the wife of Louis I of Orléans.
Leonardo da Vinci leaves Milan after his patron, Ludovico Sforza, flees the city.


Ludovico Sforzo, deposed duke of Milan, is taken prisoner by the French.
Birth of Claude of France, daughter of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany.
Treaty of Grenada between France and Aragon for the partition of Naples. Leonardo returns to Florence.


State visit of Philip the Fair and Joanna of Castile to Louis XII and Anne of Brittany at Blois; negotiations for the betrothal of Claude of France to the infant archduke Charles, the future emperor Charles V.
In a letter to Isabella d'Este, Fra Pietro da Novellara describes a painting of the Virgin with the Christ Child playing with a yarnwinder that Leonardo is making for Florimond Robertet.


August: Louis XII, campaigning in Italy, enters Genoa in triumph.


Giuliano delle Rovere is elected pope as Julius II.
Death of Pierre II of Bourbon.


France loses control of Naples.
Jean Lemaire de Belges's poem La plainte du désiré, composed in commemoration of the death of his patron, Louis de Luxembourg, count of Ligny, on December 31, 1503, mentions Jean Poyer along with Jean Fouquet, Simon Marmion, Rogier van der Weyden, and Jan van Eyck among painters no longer living. He also invokes Leonardo, Perugino, Bellini, Jean Hey, and Jean de Paris (Jean Perréal) among living artists.


Marriage of Suzanne of Bourbon and her cousin Charles of Bourbon-Montpensier, the future Constable of France.


Louis XII is given the title of père du peuple (father of the people).
Betrothal of Claude of France and Francis of Angoulême, presumptive heir to the throne, despite the objections of Anne of Brittany.


April: Louis XII enters Genoa in triumph, having subdued a rebellion.
Andrea Solario is called from Milan to work for Cardinal Georges d'Amboise on the decoration of the château of Gaillon.


April 21: Death of Henry VII of England; he is succeeded by Henry VIII.
May 14: Louis XII, aided by Charles II d'Amboise, lord of Chaumont, defeats a Venetian army at the battle of Agnadello.


Pope Julius II forms an alliance with Venice against France.
Death of Cardinal Georges d'Amboise.


January 9: Death of Anne of Brittany.
May 18: Marriage of Claude of France and Francis of Angoulême.
October 9: Marriage of Louis XII and Mary Tudor, the eighteen-year-old sister of Henry VIII of England.


January 1: Death of Louis XII; he is succeeded by Francis of Angoulême, as Francis I.