Saturday, December 7, 2019

Wiedzmin - fan film - The Witcher

Salvete Omnes,

o pewnym niezwyklym filmie, ktorego premiera stanowi temat dzisiejszego króciutkiego wpisu :

 ...niezwykła rzecz się zdarzyła, otóż fani cyklu opowiadań i powieści o wiedźminie Geralcie z Rivii autorstwa Sapka ( Andrzeja Sapkowskiego) zrealizowali własną pełnometrażową produkcję filmową pt: ''PÓŁ WIEKU POEZJI PÓŹNIEJ''.
Cały film - 1h 42 minuty - jest dostępny na stronie Alzur's Legacy - The Witcher Fan Film. (Youtube)
Wielkie brawa dla twórców i aktorów filmu,  czapka z głowy - vivat!

Film jest w wersji polskojęzycznej z angielskimi napisami.

inny plakat filmu - ze strony na Facebook.

z opisu:

Po 4 latach ciężkiej pracy nareszcie jest! Nasz pełnometrażowy, fanowski film o 
Wiedźminie stworzony zupełnie non-profit, od fanów dla
fanów twórczości Andrzeja Sapkowskiego! Opis: 
Ćwierć wieku po pogromie rivijskim (ostatnich wydarzeniach z Sagi) 
zostaje zaatakowane Kaer Morhen, stare siedliszcze wiedźminów z cechu Wilka. 
Napaści przewodzi potężny wojownik - Agaius. Parę lat później z Aretuzy, 
świeżo odbudowanej szkoły czarodziejek, ucieka Ornella, podejrzewana o 
odnalezienie legendarnej Księgi Alzura. W pościg za renegatką rusza Triss Merigold.
Z pomocą ma jej przyjść stary bard Jaskier, jego bękarci syn, Julian oraz
 poszukujący zemsty Lambert, ostatni zabójca potworów. 

 Mam nadzieje, ze tworcy zrealizuja nastepna czesc -

I have been a fan of Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher Geralt of Rivia and read all his stories and many of fan fiction written since the first book got into my hands  in mid 1990s.

Ahead of the Netflix's big Witcher series production scheduled to air before this Christmas, on December 7, 2019 the group of dedicated fans released  their own  full length feature film dedicated to the world of the Witcher (albeit there is no Geralt in it), a completely non-profit production -

today's surprise release came 4 year after this strong-willed group created their ambitious project to make a feature film, then gathered money and support from donations etc, found talented actors cameramen etc, and in the end we can view this Fan Film titled Alzur's Legacy; 
 it is a feature film - ready to be watched on youtube- shot in Poland:

Synopsis[from youtube]: 
Quarter the century after the Rivian Pogrom (the very last events from the Witcher Saga)
 Kaer Morhen, an old keep of the witchers from the school of the Wolf, is being attacked. 
Leader of the assault is a mighty warrior - Agaius. 
A few years later from Aretuza, newly rebuilt school of the sorceress, 
runs Ornella, who has been suspected of finding the legendary Alzur’s Almanac. 
In pursuit comes Triss Merigold, with help of an old bard, Dandelion, 
his bastard son Julian and Lambert, the last monster slayer, seeking for revenge.

so it is 1 hour 42 minutes long, in Polish with English subtitles, and it is a feast and surprise at the same time.
I hope to see a sequel - :) and my big congrats to all:


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Chamfron - Islamic exmaples

Salvete Omnes,

 the chamfron - let us take a look  at this special piece of horse armor, perhaps one of the earliest pieces of armor invented to protect valuable war horses, this time horse's heads from injuries in combat -arrows, spear points and just blows to the vulnerable head. Even the latecomers to the horse warfare, that is the American Indians used their own chamfron-like horse masks well in the XIX century.
This time we will look at the Islamic chamfron used by the elite horsemen, used by the faris spahi, gulam or mamluks from Islamic states spread fromin Indian subcontinent like the Mughal Empire etc, Central Asia, Persian Western Asia, Mameluke Egypt, North African states and finally across the Ottoman Empire. In the Islamic context this part of horse armor was used until the XIX century in some parts, but the Ottoman spahis stopped their use already in the XVII century, while the Persian continued using it into the late XVIII century or laters (perhaps just for parade purposes. The chamfron saw the longest use in the Indian subcontinent.

One observation that immediately comes to mind is the narrowness of the chamfron - does this imply that the horses had more or less narrow pr narrower foreheads unlike today's Arabians from the Western Asia and Egypt?






From the Wiki galleries , nota bene on Wiki Commons someone decided to name the horse head armor gallery a shaffron[sic!] - God knows why? when chamfron is mostly used in scholarship (eg dr David Nicolle's books on the Mamluk(mameluke) warriors and other Islamic warriors). Why they decided to use a noun chanfron instead of chamfron on Wikipedia entry also beats me?
But then Wikipedia is full of strange names and arbitrary selections when come to history and art history etc.
one day soon I will gather here some of the Christian European chamfrons from the heyday of its use in Europe and Spanish colonies in the Americas.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Jan Kazimierz II Vasa in armor - winged hussar armor?

Salvete Omnes,
and here we go - December and ever so close to Christmas and winter time, perhaps with snow this time, as we seem to have local cooling and not warming..
ad rem, I would like to share with you several images of Jan Kazimierz Vasa, the third and last Vasa king on Polish throne during the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

He, among our XVII century kings,  is perhaps the most difficult to asses, as under his rule the Commonwealth almost disintegrated and them came together again loosing huge parts and vital areas, large number of population and wealth in process, his armies lost and then won amazing victories, and he allowed for Ducal Prussia to become the separate state and led the nation into the civil war (the tragic Lubomirski's 'rokosz') in order to fulfill his (an his French wife's) absolutists designs and plans.
His reign ended in a complete disgrace, broken and with many problems he abdicated the throne (went to live his life at Louis XIV's France), without bringing the peace among his subjects and citizenry as the fumes of discontent, division and anarchy smoldering and weakening the country.
He abdicated even though the war with the Ottoman Empire and their allies was commencing (the famous reversal of alliances, the Zaporozhian Cossacks and Tatars again being allies in their war against the Commonwealth) and would continue until the end of the century.
Jan Kazimierz Vasa upon leaving Poland illegally took with him to France certain royal jewels and symbols (some were destroyed by the French revolutionaries during the 1790s)- I wrote about them in context of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Perhaps it is time France returned this treasures to Poland. It is our heirloom and national treasure.

 But he did have several grand moments - one of them was the great victory against the rebellious Zaporozhian Cossacks and their Crimean Tatar allies at Beresteczko (today Berestechko,, Ukraine)- probably the largest land battle of the XVII century in Europe.
In 1656 during the holy mass at the Lwów (Lviv) Cathedral Jan Kazmierz II crowned Blessed Virgin Mary as the Queen of Poland, and the official titulature became as follows - The Most Holy Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland. And we have been venerating Her and blessed with Her protection ever since, the most holy site for our Queen has been the Holy Black Madonna of Jasna Gora  abbey in Czestochowa.

there is this bronze plaque (a detail below) commemorating the Beresteczko victory, located in Franch church  where the Jan Kazimierz's heart was buried upon his death (he died in France, but his body was returned and then ceremoniously  interned at the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, where it remains today). He was known for many lovers but had no official surviving heir as his children died in infancy.

and there are many portraits of our king in armor, and I wonder if this was the type of armor used by the winged hussars of the period?

there is also famous chain-mail armor and portraits in that armor showing our king, but these will be subject of another post.
When German Kingdom of Prusia army occupied Krakow and Wawel Royal Castle complex (upon the defeat of the Kosciuszko Insurrection forces in the south  in  June of 1794), and in October of 1795 under the most secret command of their king they broke in and took the royal treasure (Thesaurus Regni) stored at the Wavel, that contained the rich, splendorous and millennial treasures of Polish Kingdom, and took it to Berlin.
The Crowns and regalia that were used by the Primate of Poland to crown Jan Kazimierz II as our king were taken illegally and in contradiction to moral and ethical principles of the time by the House of Hohenzollern, and their king Frederick Wilhelm III had them taken apart and melted (most likely in 18109-11) to finance their war effort against Napoleon in 1813 (they also got plenty of money from United Kingdom). The official heir to the Polish throne and Polish king since 1815, tzar Alexander of Russia and his brother Nicolas (since 1826) demanded these regalia back from Prussian Kingdom's rulers, not knowing that these treasures were illegally destroyed.

maps how the Commonwealth shrunk under his rule, especially the geopolitically strategic and vital region of Smolensk
Ad 1648 - 

Ad 1667


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Somosierra - Puzyrewski cz.II

Salvete Omnes,
[in Polish]
dokończenie - cześć II fragmentów z pracy generała Armii Cesarskiej (carskiej) Aleksandra Puzyrewskiego o szarży polskiej jazdy w służbie Napoleona pod Somosierra, w dzień rocznicy bitwy.
Uwagi o bitwie rosyjskiego generała a:


 vivat lekkokonni - vae victis.

Somosierra - Puzyrewski cz.I

Salvete Omnes,
[in Polish]
czas plynie bezustanku i nie wejsc nam do tej samej rzeki dwa razy, ale jak co roku 30 listopada mamy rocznicę wielkiego wyczynu kawaleryjskiego Polakow w sluzbie cesarza Napoleona czyli 211-tą rocznicę niezwyklej szarzy szwadronów szwoleżerów gwardii na pozycje hiszpańskie broniące przełęczy Somosierra AD1808.
na stronie Polona- Bilbioteka Narodowa - znajdując się skany pracy generała infanterii Cesarstwa Rosyjskiego Aleksandra Kazimierowicza Puzyrewskiego (  Александр Казимирович Пузыревский) o szarzy Polaków na sławnej dziś przełęczy, wersja polska wydana w Warszawie w AD 1899, gdyż ta książka była także wydana po rosyjsku.
Szarża jazdy pod Somo-Sierra w Hiszpanji - piękny album i krotka analiza działań napisana przez stratega  armii carskiej (nota bene autora 'Wojny Polsko-Rosyjskiej 1830-31').

W tej części zamieszczam opis bitwy piórem generała  plus ilustracja z albumu


a przy okazji to dzisiaj mamy dzień świętego Andrzeja - Wiki Commons ma super ciekawą galerie sztuki związaną z kultem tego świętego Kościoła.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz - napoleoniki w wigilie Somosierry

Salvete Omnes,
[in Polish]
zbliża się rocznica Somosierry i 'surfując' zbiory  Biblioteki Narodowej Polona (Federacja Bibliotek Cyfrowych)  natrafiłem na luksusową publikację, którą firmował  weteran Powstania Listopadowego Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz, emigrant pracujący nad wydawanymi  dziełami polskimi we wciąż przyjaznej Polakom i Polsce, choć ledwie niezależnej od Prus, Saksonii.
Bobrowicz pracował dla wydawnictwa Breitkopf & Haertel z Lipska (wciąż istniejące), i tamże w 1838 roku wydano po polsku pracę  poniższą:
Napoleon Bonaparte czyli Obrazy bitew i czynów wojennych bohatera : 90 rycin na stali podług malowideł w Muzeum Wersalskiem i innych pomników z dodatkiem historycznych objaśnień podług pp. Bourienne [et al.]

Prawie kompletne dzieło jest dostępne w Bibliotece Narodowej -a poniżej zamieszczam niektóre z rycin (oprócz 2 reszta z polskimi motywami):


Pan Bobrowicz, żołnierz artylerii konnej Powstania Listopadowego i odznaczony krzyzem Orderu Virtuti Militari, był słynnym muzykiem gitarowy, a jako wydawca zasłynął wydaniem 10-tomowego Herbarza Kacpra Niesieckiego, dzieła monumentalnego.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wilhelm Richter - miltiary & equestrian painter

Salvete Omnes,

today another quick post -

among the vastness of Wiki Commons galleries there are countless works of art, and especially works devoted to the equestrian subject are of great interest to me.
One of such searches ended with the discovery of the equestrian art of Wilhelm Richter, of Vienna and official painter of the Austro-Hungarian army during the later XIX century.

Wiki gallery contains mostly  paintings od racing horses and military-related works,so allow me to insert some of them here - and more in great detail can be enjoyed from the gallery itself -




this painting  includes the figures of Austrian or Imperial & King's uhlans, in the right lower corner  - these are in the Italian Wars of Independence period uniforms


Richter's painting offered for sale at Christies...