Monday, October 31, 2011

Mirza Ali Giray in a woodcut

Salve,
I found this image on a cover of ''Rocznik Tatarski'' vol 1, (1932), a yearly publication from then Polish city of Wilno (now Vilnius) devoted to the history and then present culture of the Polish Tatars - Hieronim Lubomirski from historycy.org, thank you for the link.


According to Richard Brzezinski (Polish Armies, vol II, Osprey), this is an image of Mirza Ali Giray, one of the sons of the Crimean Tatar Khan (there were a few khans of the Giray family who ruled the ) who was the commander of the Tatar auxilia during the Ottoman Turk second siege of Vienna of 1683.
Well, according to the sources and the study of the history of the Cirmean Khaganate by the Polish preeminent Tatar history scholar Leszek Podhorodecki, the commander of the Crimean Tatars was the khan himself, Murat Giray (who quite nicely facilitated , by being inactive and withdrawing from the field, the Polish-Allied victory over the Turks and their ).  Nota bene there was  one Tatar commander who stayed to the end of fighting and defended the famous standard of the Prophet, but his was just a ''kalga (galga) sultan'' Haji Giray (with 500-600 Tatars).

There are accounts of armored protection used by the Crimean Tatars and  pieces of actual armor surviving from the Crimean Tatars' arsenals (in various European collections), therefore this protrayal is not far fetched, and perhaps represents the aristocratic warrior elite of the Crimean warriors. Please note that this portrayal with a bow goes back to the Ancient Iranian (Persian, Parthian and Skithian traditions).

What distinguishes this warrior here is the great portrayal of  his armor and accouterments of the Tatar warrior: the helmet with a pair of wings on top, in an ancient Turkish warrior fashion, bow and arrow, bowcase, sword, and a wing in a style not dissimilar tot he wings carried by the Polish hussars, and also similar to the wing in this painting showing the battle of Warsaw 1656 and its Crimean Tatar participants fighting the Swedes.


According to Mr. Brzezinski this engraving was done by Jacob Sandrart in 1684.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chocim 1673 - fragment of the Olesko painting

Salve,
some time ago I posted this sketch of mine digitally painting over the Olesko painting  showing then grand Crown hetman Jan Sobieski defeating the Ottoman army at Khotyn (Chocim) fortress.
Well, surfing the net I found this fragment of the painting showing very nicely two heavily armoured winged hussars armed with long painted  lances and pistols, the second hussar has wings on his back. They seem not to have wild animal skins on their backs, although the second one has what it appears an animal skin/pelt shabraque underneath his saddle:
 I intend to fiddle with these guys a bit by doing some sketches and perhaps a watercolour or digital painting...
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enjoy

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sketches - ancient Iran

Salve,
some sketches in the subject of ancient Iran:
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Sassanian
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horse chest armour - Saka, Sarmatian, Parthian, Sassanian


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heavy cavalry

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enjoy...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Some sketches in progress


Salve,
I would like to share with you some of my sketches:
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Plains Indian Warrior
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rearing horse
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heavy cavalry - Hun warrior
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Sarmatian
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Sarmatian  saddle
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Saka after Gorelik
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Kimmerian warrior - X-VIII centuries BC
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Sarmatian bridle
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a Saka scene
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Eastern rider after Polish XVIII/XIX century painter Aleksander Orlowski
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Koban Culture warrior after a Koban Culture metal belt image
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GIMP, MyPaint, pen and ink etc...

Hope you will enjoy these sketches

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cirit - ancient Turkish game


Salve,
I 'facebook'a bit and via Facebook I met a Polish competitor and reenactor, Bartosz Ligocki, who participated in this event Al Faris in Jordan. Bartosz send me a link to a blog by another of his horsearchery club mates, Mateusz. Mateusz, accomplished horseman and horsearcher, is working in Turkey training stunt-men for a future historical, Ottoman Turkey, film productions. 


In one of his posts, Mateusz writes about the Ottoman and present Turkey equestrian sport known as ''cirit'' and that prior to going to Turkey they, the Horse Archery Club, reconstructed the Ottoman 'cirit' javelins based on the examples found in Polish museum collections, and upon their trials concluded that these slender weapons had been only for parade and not for battle. However, upon seeing the Turkish stable boys performing cirit competitions, Mateusz now thinks that this was quite formidable weapon, capable of piercing 2mm steel plate from a distance of 15 meter, while from a distance of 30 meters Turkish horsemen were able to hit a ball of paper without a problem (Mateusz concludes that the effective  range  was 60 meters). Nota bene Matuesz writes that present day Turks ride stallions, some mix of Arabian or almost purebred Arabian horses,  when playing cirit.

A XIX century description of a cirit game (using English term djerid) played observed being played by the Pasha of Jerusalem and his staff by English officer Lt. W. F. Lynch : "A single horseman would leave his ranks, cross the intervening space, and ride leisurely along in front of the opposite line, when, selecting his opponent, he quickly threw his djerid, or short, blunted, wooden spear, directly at him. The latter, generally dodging the weapon, immediately started in hot pursuit of his antagonist, who, now unarmed, spurred his horse towards his friends, and, to avoid the threatened blow, threw himself nearly from the stead, hanging by one leg .... If the assailed were struck with the first cast, one of his party pursued the assailant; and if successful in striking him, it became his turn to flee from an adversary."


Here you have a photo by Keon-Sik Heo ( World Martial Arts Union - Seoul, Korea - Yong In University) of Bartosz performing feats of horsearchery at Al Faris.


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At the head of this post I attached a work in progress of an Ottoman XVI perhaps early XVII century cavalryman with a 'cirit' javelin (GIMP and MyPaint only )
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Images of cirit players and horses from present Turkey via google images
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Anatolian Horsemanship Committee page has some info, including a page on Anatolian horse sports and an article and diagram of Turkish horse tack etc..
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 enjoy - :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Winged hussar horse - progress sketch


Salve,
days are getting shorter and there seems to be more time to spend engaging in digital painting, so I would like to share a progress sketch of a horse in a winged hussar horse tack (as used in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), including a wing attached to the cantle, 'koncerz' ( 'piercing sword' or tuck) under the Old Poland saddle's skirt and wild cat pelt/skin underneath the saddle instead of shabraque...
     I have several version of this iamge, so hopefully will show them all here in due time.
I used Gimp and MyPaint to get this far :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sketching horses - ball pen, MyPaint & Gimp

Salve,
I have been playing with these images, that originated as ball pen drawings, and now enhanced with Mypaint and GIMP...
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I would like to welcome new members of this blog followers' list - thank you very much for your attention :)
ps
I came into possession of a Soviet era book titled - Snaryazhenie Vsadnika I Verkhovogo Konya na Ruis, IX-XIIIbb ( Riders' and horse gear in Ruthenia, 9-13th centuries, 1973), so hope to offer more insight into the Kievan Rus/Ruthenia riders (I also obtained two more archaeological reports from the 1970s on Rus/Ruthenian arms and armor of the same era) and their horse gear sometime later this winter - hopefully more than what dr Nicolle wrote in his Osprey book , Armies of Medieval Russia [sic!] 750-1250,  Oxford 1999.