Sunday, June 27, 2010

early XVIII century hussar

finally finishing my today's outpouring  the early XVIII century 'winged'  hussar  wearing a 'karacena'  armor (perhaps inspired by Trajan's column images of Sarmatian warriors fighting Romans) and a turbaned karacena (  karacena from Polish Army Museum ) helmet (in Polish history the period of  Sarmatism  and continuing 'romance' with the culture of  Ottoman Empire and Safavid  Persian) TrajanColumn_-_Cichorius_Plates

Late XV century Serbian hussar

the forefather of the Polish winged hussars - a Serbian hussar, who has a Turkish sabre, Balkan shield, Turkish helmet, and Turkish mace.
I intend to add a horse, wings on the shield,  and a lance later -
in GIMP  dario fecit :)

two more sketches of hussars

two sketches of hussars mounted and dismounted :)
I used GIMP to enhance the watercolor and pen&ink drawings.

sketches of some hussar commanding officers

finally  last two sketches of hussar commanding officers - without a helmet, with right arm uncovered holding a mace -bulawa   /Bulawa of Turkish origin.

Hussar sketches in GIMP, pen and ink

some sketches in color, and black and white ink drawing  enhanced with GIMP manipulations... Hussar is holding my most favorite weapon - war-ax, already seen in the Saka and Scythian arsenals more than 2700 years ago, eg Indo-Saka king Spalirises  SpalirisesStandingInArmour , here some XVII century examples war axes


a little drawing of a hussar stopping his charge due to caltrops, that had been spread by the enemy infantry. In Polish this device was called a 'czośnik' (plural - czośniki). 
Normal battlefield occurrence in Europe and in Asia Minor from the Alexander the Great era through early modern warfare, obviously used by the infantry against  cavalry but also could be used against the infantry.

 Caltrops from Chania - X-XII centyrt AD

Caltrops from Muscovy (present Russia)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Klushino - a new English language text by dr. Radek Sikora

Let it be my pleasure to attach here a link to my friend Radek Sikora, already a 'doctor'  :)  or Ph.D.,  newest English language and the best researched  'take' on the Klushino battle - please do enjoy Klushino

And above and bellow  my own sketches based on the XVII century work of pan Józef Naronowicz-Naroński drawing of a Russian/Muscovy streletz version of the infantry field anti-cavalry defense. The second sketch intends to show   a post-hussar charge view of   horse casualties  inflicted  by these 'kobylice' (cheval de frise) - name used by our  Polish military scholar, Naronowicz-Naroński in his "Architektura militaris, to jest budownictwo wojenne" ,  published in the XVII century.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vienna Codex - another splendid image

more images of Ottoman Turkish military form the late XVI century, including the  Vienna Codex 6000. Fearsome delilers - perhaps the best warriors of the Ottoman Army -
 Note that  the turbaned (most likely the helmet underneath the turban) commander is wearing an 'anima' laminated  cuirass, coat-of-mail under the cuirass protecting his arms and maybe his hips, while at his side there is a sabre, underneath his left thigh a broadsword (pallasch), while leading his splendid chestnut steed with one hand (horse is curb-bitted and holds his head high, parading :) )  and the right hand with a risen menacingly 'nadziak' or a steppe and eventually Turkish, Polish, Hungarian version of horseman  bec-du-faucon (pico de grajo).
Rider behind the turbaned ghazi is carrying  a heavy lance, painted, not dissimilar to the Polish Winged Hussar lances or even earlier Renaissance and medieval ones. His left side is covered by a leopard pelt - is he a Turkish hussar?
The foreground rider - and the most striking out of them, is a very muscular man with a shaved head but for a 'scalp lock' of the Slavic tradition. He has a red hat on his back, a type called by prof Zygulski jr. a Bosnian hat, so perhaps these riders were Bosnian converts. This man is caring a tuck/estock (panzerstrecher) underneath his left thigh, while his curved Hungarian style sabre is out of its sheath, being brandished in a typical manner -high above one's head.  Curb-bitted stallion has some interesting horse tack, especially the crouper  with what appears to be copper or brass bells, not dissimilar form the Spanish conquistadors bells used in the Americas.
The last man is wearing a bear coat, perhaps harking back to the ancient warrior rites  of the Indoeuropeans, where bear-men were the most fearsome warriors. Addition of a bird of prey wing on top of his head seems to go back to the steppe tradition of the Saka, Sarmatians and ancient Turks. He also has a nice Hungarian sabre, so popular with the Eastern European nobility and warriors during the XVI century.
Finally, the boots and spurs on these warriors are similar  to Polish and Hungarian ones.  
More Delilers from the Ottoman Turkish  miniatures, done in the second half of the  XVI century.

 6 years ago these soldiers were subject of a nice historical miniature, but not error free,  soldiers diorama at the Boston World Expo, work done by two Italian miniaturists Cartacci and Mariano Numitone , and I took some photos of them  Boston_Expo/Cartacci-TooLate.jpg
 I will speak more about the image of a deliler on the right some other time..

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Image of glory and memento to passing time

Don Gustavo, one of my Facebook friends and fellow admirer of fine Polish, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Livonian, German nobility,  their gallantry and bravery, and who is a follower of my blog as well, pointed to me something that I have not seen before.
It is the attached below an image of the Polish knight (appears to be a winged hussar), deceased AD 1596, who was immortalized by his family with an epitaph, adorned with  a truly Renaissance portrait.
The  buried hussar's name was Andrzej Kochanowski of Korwin coat of arms  Korwin .
He was the founder of  the church  where he was buried, this late  Renaissance Roman Catholic Church in Grodek, near Kozienice in Poland. Mosci pan Andrzej Kochanowski, son of Dobieslaw, was himself  a cousin of our most preeminent Renaissance  poet- Jan Kochanowski, who himself was described wearing a hussar outfit during the fabulous 1574 royal entry to King's city of Cracow ( the entry of our shortest ruling and only French monarch, Henri Valois). Perhaps one day I return to Jan and his poem 'Jezda do Mokswy'  Jezda_do_Moskwy  , that describes the famous raid by Filon Kmita of coat of arms Radwan_Sowity , Haraburda  and Krzysztof 'Thunder' Radziwill against the
Muscovy's interior during king Bathory's war with Muscovy 1577-82.

Ad rem, our pan Andrzej here has a fine Renaissance armor (note a visible gilded spur  at this armored heel) and coat of mail, while his knightly weapons,  sword and sabre, along with his shishak with red plume are at his side. He is eternally resting on the human scull, a somber remainder : memento mori, while  a finely painted hourglass has for ever reminded the viewer about the passing time -Πάντα ῥεῖ pantha rei.
This is a somber and very pious piece of art,  and this style of painting portraits of deceased to decorate their burials and soon coffins/caskets became so called Sarmatian fashion across the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in many fabulous paintings of our ancestors  Portret_trumienny_B._D._Lubomirskiej.jpg .  

another drawing of mine above the text, it seems that those fabulous wild cats skins were often carried underneath the saddle, in ancient  Macedonian (vide Alexander the Great equestrian portraits) and Great Steppe warrior fashions.

a little of Renaisance and Triumph of Emperor Maximillian

Hans Burkmair  Hans Burgkmair , designed one of the most impressive German Renaissance woodcut projects - more than 150 woodcuts of various  aspects of Emperor  Maximillian I (not a friend of Polish-Lithianian Jagiellonian Kingdom) display of power.  Also there can be found a little book on the  triumph of emperor where many details regarding these plates are given in somewhat antiquated English of the late XIX century.
Anyway,  this greatest link to the 'Maximillian Procession' woodcuts ( Graz collection of some of the hand painted woodcuts surviving form the Triumphal Procession of Maximillian) was  found by Michal 'Kadrinazi'  triumphzug 
Although Michal graciously posted the link on his blog, I decided to post it here since his blog is in Polish ... and few readers of English tongue might go  dircetly over to his fine, almost daily updated, blog on XVII century military, but if you choose to do so here is his post about it .
thank you, Michal :)
and my little drawing with GIMP paint studio and Mypaint, of our King Sigismund Augustus royal hussar circa 1553

Monday, June 21, 2010

in the spirit of Kluszyn 2010 (Klushino)

 today's little drawing of a charging winged hussar (true,  I'll have to add the wings later on)  - I hope I am showing here  the process of lowering his lance  the  while his rumak (war steed) is in full gallop... seconds before hitting the target.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

English Sportsman on Polish horse circa 1730s

While perusing Sportsman Dictionary vol. 11, published 1737,  I found the following depiction of our Polish horses:
"These are much like the Danish horse, and are generally about the size of the Spanish Jennet, are of a middle stature, but their limbs are much better knit together, and are of a much stronger make, than the Spanish ones.

This horse is in many respects, like our natural English horse, except that their head are somewhat slenderer, like the Irish hobby; but  their necks and crests are raised upright, and very strong; their ears are very short and small, and their backs capable of bearing any weight; their chines [shins] are broad, their hoofs are judged to be as good as those of any horse in the world.
They are very good for a journey, and will endure long ones, with more ease than any other horse"

The attached  prints,  done during the late 1645 to  1651AD  in France,  by the Italian  draughtsman and master printmaker Stefano della Bella you can see such horses [nota bene this etching above  was used by Richard Brzezinski to reconstruct a winged hussar for this Osprey book - Polish Winged Hussars ]

Almost 60 years later, in their 1790s edition, famous  Encyclopedia Britannica editors wrote:
'Polish horses are like Danish, only the have not so fine a fore-hand, their colour is generally a bright bay, and that of the outward peel of the onion, They are fiery and vicious, '
while the depiction of the Danish horse is as follows:
'Danish horses are low, short, and square, but they have a fine head and short hair.'


nice page with medieval and early modern horse tack, including a blurred image of a winged Polish horse from 'Certamen Equestre' series ( these Eimmart prints   commemorate the 1672 horse parade at the Swedish court of Karl XI ) horse tack
this one above is one of the G.C.  Eimmart's prints showing Polish musicians on Polish horses. Please note that many of the Eimmart's prints were used by the Poland's preeminent military costume historian and fabulous artist, pan Bronislaw Gembarzewski. Unfortunately his works were burnt during the savage destruction of Warsaw by the Hitler's Germans in 1944, and they mostly survive in microfilms and old publications, especially valuable are his books:  Żołnierz polski. Ubiór, uzbrojenie i oporządzenie wojska polskiego od XI wieku do 1831 roku (from microfilms published in 1960-1966, 4 volumes) [this one is a compilation of then available sources on Polish military men and their horses] , Wojsko polskie. Królestwo Polskie.  1815-1830  [Polish Kingdom] (1903), Wojsko polskie. Księstwo Warszawskie. 1807-1814  [Duchy of Warsaw] (1905), Husarze [Winged Hussars]  (1500-1775) (1939)

Turkish horse II

Merhaba :)
I found some more interesting depictions  of Turkish horses - from the AD 1737 English publication titled 'Sportsman Dictionary, ' vol 11.
"These horses are originally natives of Greece [ Byzantium ], and bear an extraordinary price with us [English], partly because of their extraordinary beauty, and partly because of the great expense of bringing them over [from Ottoman Empire to England].
These Turkish horses have fine heads, somewhat like Barbary ones, beautiful fore-hands, and straight limbs, rather small than large, are of a most delicate shape, their pace is genteel and graceful, and besides they are horses of good spirit.
Their coats are smooth and short, their hoofs long and narrow, which is a sign of swiftness; in a word, there are horses of great beauty courage and speed.
Their colour is, for the most part, grey of flea-bitten, tho' there are some of a bright bay colour; but most of these we have now in England, are grey."
Almost hundred years earlier, during his voyage across the seas 1647-52 English merchant Robert Bargrave visited Constantinople [Istanbul], the capital of the empire. He wrote in his travel diary:
'..but are to be seen such horses, and that in great number, as all Christendom cannot vie with; many of whose accouterments  alone are worth thousands, and those are but common which cost less than hundreds'
page 86, 'The Travel Diary of Robert Bargrave Levant Merchant 1647-1656,' ed M. G. Brennan.

Above, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent  Suleiman_the_Magnificent on campaign riding  one of his fine horses, surrounded by his guards.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kluszyn 2010 - another progress sketch II

  I am looking to forward to have some time later this summer to be able to prepare a series of  blog entries regarding the Ottoman Turkish cavalry, especially the deli/deliler - here from a Vienna codex miniatures

and sipahi  below-

- here  a sipahi from Swedish ambasador Ralamb book of miniatures (1650s) and below kapikulu sipahis of the Vienna Codex miniatures.

Meantime I have been drawing Polish hussars, getting my spirits going  for the Kluszyn 2010 in Warsaw, Poland.
And to stay in the spirit of horses and cavalry find the google links to two old but still good history of cavalry books on google:
history of cavalry
cavalry roemer
 this one is a Polish book, written by one of Polish XIX century historians - Konstanty Marian Gorski (no English wikipedia entry  Konstanty Gorski   amazon uk entry Historya-Polskiej-Konstanty-Marian-Gorski) - is a sources based history of Polish cavalry and infantry, and although the title on google states only 'history of Polish infantry' actually this edition contains both the history of infantry and history of cavalry together, almost 600 pages of good reading  - Gorski historia piechoty y jazdy polskiej

Another of my sketches in this theme that progressed from color pencils and watercolor to GIMP PS and MyPaint.
Do enjoy   -:)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kluszyn 2010 - work in progress I

Kluszyn 2010 festivities in Warsaw, Poland are fast approaching - I am hoping to be  there along with my son Jasio for the famous battle reenactment mounted and dressed as a szlachcic/Crimean Tatar  -:) , thanks to the support from  my lovely wife Julia, and dear friends Radek Sikora and Bartek Siedlar :)
Meantime, I have been sketching various winged hussars - and there is one of them - work in progress: from colored pencils and watercolor to GIMP Paint Studio and MyPaint...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ottoman tamgas - mark of the Sultan armories

At McGill University Library, Montreal Quebec, they have this very interesting journal: Livrust Kammaren - Journal of the Royal Armoury. In the volume 17 from 1985 I found an interesting article on Eastern helmet - cicak or szyszak (shishak). I cannot read Swedish but I saw the photos, drawings etc,  and thus I copied some of the tamgas associated with the Istanbul/Constantinople Ottoman Sultan Armouries of the XVI-XVII centuries
I hope my picture speaks for itself

 and the  Ottoman armored kapikulu sipahi armor for horse and rider

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Polish language sources to the Chocim/Khotin battle 1621 - from google

      almost 411 years ago a large Polish-Lithuanian army (including huge Zaporozhian Cossack contingent under Piotr/Petro  Zahajdaczyny/Sahaidaczny) commanded by the grand hetman Jan Karol Chodkiewicz (in this Jozef Brandt painting Chodkiewicz Chocim ) withstood one of the largest Ottoman Turkish  armies in a defensive encampment at the Chocim/Kotin  fortress Chocim   , also acrossing on the Dniester River (you can see the Dniester shore in this Jozef Brandt painting  Nad_Dniestrem ),  in Moldavia (present Ukraine).
The 1621 Chocim campaign has not been a subject of any  extensive scholarly study in English - there are some  articles though - they can be downloaded from the wikipedia Battle_of_Khotyn 1621   battle page.

There are published Polish languages primary sources to this battle, compiled already in the XIX century by Polish historians and enthusiasts.
First of them,  Pamiętniki o wyprawie chocimskiej r. 1621, is a compilation of Polish writers (themselves participants of the famous battle)  Pamietniki Wojny Chocimskiej - including the diary of Jakub Sobieski  Jakub Sobieski , father of future king Jan III of Poland-Lithuanian and his prematurely deceased brother Marek Marek Sobieski ( I will write a page or two about this great cavalryman and patriot).

The second,  Collectanea z dziejopisów tureckich: rzeczy do historyi polskiey służących, is a compilation of various Ottoman Turkish writers as they relate to the Polish-Turkish relations between XV and XVIII centuries  Collectanea z dziejow  .

Finally a work of licentia poetica based in Sobieski'diary  by the already mentioned XVII century Polish-Lithuanian poet and bonn vivant  Waclaw Potocki who wrote this most famous XVII century Polish  epic poem known as Transakcja wojny chocimskiej (The Progress of the Khotin War)  and it can been read in various formats from  wojna chocimska .