Sunday, July 18, 2010
Polish-Lithuanian warrior with his Polish sighthound
during the XV century through first half of XX century Polish chart/ plural charty/ (sighthound chart_polski/ ) was a close companion of the Polish-Lithuanian noblity, especially during their military campaigns and hunting excursions into the vastness of our steppes and forests.
These beautiful dogs, often called wolf-hounds, as they were great against wolves, are often present in the paintings and memoirs (most accessible in English famous Pasek Memoirs page 255 ) of this bygone era.
In more modern literature, in the Polish writer Bohdan Krolikowski's cycle of fantastic and beautifully written trilogy on the Swedish and Muscovy wars of the mid XVII century, the main hero Blażej Siennicki had a near death experience while hunting with his companions and their Polish charty in the vicinity of the Swedish army, forgetting that the war was all around them.
Hunting in spite of war all around the hunters always brings to my imagination the famous chase that Scythian nobles undertook after a hare that had appeared between their own lines and the Achaemenid Persian of Darius the Great army arrayed for battle - or so wrote in his Ἱστορίαι Herodotos (Book IV).
Our Polish chart is a close cousin of Russian borzoi (nice little book on borzoi observed in the early XX century here observations on Borzoi ). Nota bene Polish sighthound was often called 'Polish borzoi' (swift or fast) dog in the XIX century, and belonged to the great Asian family of borzoi dogs (sighthounds), for it was also a cousin of a dog from southern Ukraine called Crimean borzoi, bred by both arch-enemies and sometimes friends of their northern neighbors- the Crimean Tatars, and the Central Asian borzoi that was bred by the Central Asian nomads from time immemorial :); also a cousin of Moldavian sighthound, Caucasus sighthound, Persian sighthound etc.
Polish painter Juliusz Kossak ( .wikipedia /Juliusz_Kossak ) often painted these splendid dogs in XVII-XIX century settings, the first scene most likely he observed in person eg: