Sunday, November 28, 2010

a sketch in progress - Lisowczyk

a sketch in progress - working over an old watercolor -  I am using GIMP and MyPaint

This time the subject is loosely based on the Lisowczyk - lisowczycy (plural) or Liswoski kozaks theme -
 Juliusz Kossak's Lisowczyk 
Kossak's lisowczyk2
Michalowsk Jezdziec Lisowczyk
  Brandt Pochod_Lisowczykow.jpg
Brandt Lisowczycy_przed_gospoda
  Brandt Lisowczycy Strzelanie z luku 
in the last painting please note the Moldavian border fortress of Khotin (Chocim) in the background  wiki/Khotyn  .
The Polish-Lithuanian  Commonwealth army is pictured in the foreground, the gathered banners and regiments and Cossacks are already getting a horsearchery show by the lisowczycy while the Polish forces have been preparing to fight to death at  this southwestern border of Commonwealth, being entrenched within their much fortified camps around the Khotyn fortress, they know the Ottoman Turkish army augmented by the Tatars would come soon, it is AD 1621.

I will post progress of this one too, later next month, I hope..

  interesting blog (in Polish)  by painter Jarek Glod who is copying/painting great Kossak and other masters' works and showing his own works' progress

Thursday, November 25, 2010

King of Poland Royal uhlans 1770s

English travelers' accounts of their voyages during have of the XVI-XIX have been great source of information for this blog, my friend Radek  found some interesting account of the 1770s uhlan regiment, serving as a household unit of the King of Poland:

Travels into Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Denmark: interspersed ..., Volume 1

 By William Coxe, page 140

Ulans or Uhlans for the King
The king has a corps of 2000 troops in his own pay, and entirely dependent upon himself. These troops consist chiefly of Ulans or light horse, who furnish alternately the escort which accompanies his majesty. We saw a small party, about thirty, who were encamped near his villa, and had afterwards an opportunity of examining them more minutely.
The Ulans are chiefly Tartars, many of them Mahometans, and are greatly to be relied on for their fidelity. The corps is composed of gentlemen and vassals : they all form in squadron together, but are differently armed ; they both indiscriminately carry sabres and pistols, but the gentlemen only bear lances of about ten feet long ; instead of which, the others are armed with carabines. Their dress is a high fur cap, a green and red jacket, pantaloons of the fame colour, which cover the boots as low as the ankle; and a petticoat of white cloth descending to the knee*. Their heads are all shaved after the Polish manner. Their lances, at the end of which is fastened a long swallow-tailed flag [pennon] of black and red cloth, are shorter and weaker than those of the Austrian Croats, but they carry and use them much in the same manner, and with no less dexterity. The men were of different sizes, and seemed fine and well-grown, but were greatly disfigured with their petticoats and pantaloons.
Polish horses for light cavalry
The horses on which they were mounted. were about fourteen hands high, of remarkable spirit, with great strength of shoulder. 
Poland is much esteemed for its breed of horses; and the king of Prussia procures his light cavalry from this country. 
On the ruin of the Polish horses

The breed, however, has been almost ruined during the late civil wars*, and the nobility are now chiefly supplied from Tartary.

Coxe, Travels vol1 (page 140)
* I intend to draw and paint several reconstructions of these Royal Uhlans (ulans) - pan Bronislaw Gembarzewski  premier military uniform historian from Poland seen in this relief  B.Gembarzewski , in his monumental work 'Polish Soldier - arms and equipment' vol II has some interesting reconstructions and cites sources for the Royal Uhlans, from 1770s through 1794.
*Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth under the Saxon kings was subject to increasing Russian influence during the first half of XVIII century, and after the last Polish king, Stanislaw August Poniatowski  S_A_Poniatowski  - his election at Wola was subject to some paintings showing  Polish horses eg  Election_of_Stanislaw_II_August_of_Poland_at_Wola muzeum w Poznaniu , was elected with full support of the Russian army bayonets, coercion and money PLC become Russian protectorate. Enraged patriotic elements of nobility declared a confederacy (at the ancient fortress of Bar in present Ukraine) and civil war erupted, but it has to be stressed that quickly the Polish-Lithuanian royal armies had been replaced by the Russian forces that had battled Bar Confederates troops  for 4 years -
 The end of Bar Confederacy resistance spurred three black eagles: Russia, Prussia and Austrian Empire cease the moment and to take some defenseless Polish-Lithuanian  territory. Russia received the least developed areas but Prussia took the ethnically Polish territories of northern Poland  and  begun infamous Prussian robbery of Polish-Lithuanian foreign  commerce profits and in the end caused the economic strangulation of the country (including counterfeiting Polish currency and imposing huge tariffs on PLC agricultural exports and other commerce), while the losses to Austria were painful because they took some of the best cities ( the Royal city of Lwow-Lviv,  returned in 1918 to be again stolen from Poland in 1939 and 1944 by the 1st class world murderer and genocidal tyrant J. Stalin ), most populated areas of the country, including  the horse breeding areas of southern Poland - it was the so called First Partition of Poland

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends, readers and followers :)

 a little sketch after drawing by Juliusz Kossak

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

mustangs from Colorado

Last month I visited the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and came across some Mustangs (aka wild horses) that had been captured by the BLM (Bureau of Land management) and sold of at a public auction.

Horses in these pictures come from Nevada and Wyoming, captured at a tender age of 1 year (yearlings), and since then have been living in a green pasture close to Elicot, Co. Note that until the summer the gray gelding had been a stallion.

In these pictures you can not see clearly but they do have the BLM freeze markings and I will add some more where they are visible.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Muscovite Reitar 1660s - update I

a bit of an update on my Muscovite Reitar started here muscovite-reitar-1660s

I added double reins and a curb-bit (Polish. munsztunk) on a horse, made horse's neck a bit longer;  on the officer - a longer beard (hope you like it better, Kadrinazi),  and then some other little equipment parts that make this soldier appear more 'historic'
pa ka

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Władysław Szerner - Polish horse and genre painter

 today a little too forgotten painter of the Munich School of Polish painting:
Władysław Szerner szerner  , born in 1839, studied art at the Warsaw School of Fine Arts  beginning in 1862.  Unfortunately for his studies one year later,  when Motherland called, he, a very promising artist, joined the Polish army during the 1863 January Uprising . As we know the January uprising ended in defeat and pan (Mr.) Szerner was forced to emigrate after the defeat to France and eventually settled in Bavaria.
After studies at the Munich Art Academy - with various German masters, Alexander  Wagner, Hermann Anschütz and Alexander Strähuber,  he became an independent artist, and his atellier was next to the famous one of  Jozef Brandt, and these two Polish artist became fast friends, especially because they shared similar interest in Polish history and genre paintings. Their freindship lasted for life and Pan Szerner often traveled with Brandt to his estate in Oronsko, near Radom, and partook in Brandt's excursions to the Old Polish Borderland aka Kresy (Ukraine). Being a member of Munich Kunstverein , he exhibited there from 1874 until 1909, as well as in Lwow(Lviv), Cracow and Warsaw. He was admired by many literary personages of the XIX century Poland, eg J.I. Kraszewski Kraszewski prized him for being able to capture scenes of Poland's countryside au naturel, with believable detail and with joyful flavour so characteristic of these picturesque sites .
He not only painted horses and the images of Old Poland, but also was a skilled graphic artist and draughtsman,  and was able to copy in pencil many famous paintings by his friend Brandt so they could be engraved and printed in various contemporary periodicals, eg 'Kłosy' and 'Tygodnik Ilustrowany' of Warsaw, to the delight of many a reader.
 Later on he started painting the 'exotique' and wonderfully colorful inhabitants of the eastern Carpathian Mountians - the Huculs (Hutzuls).
His art is in many private collections, and his works fetch reasonable prices at auctions. He had a son, also a painter, and their quite similar works can be subject to forgeries, as father's works are more expensive nowadays.

A horse -MyPaint-Gimp drawing

todays image came about when I was looking at the paintings of the Polish XIX century painter (and the XIX century Munich School of Polish painting  main persona) : Jozef Brandt, whose horses, from the Old noble Polish Ukraine, were splendid creatures  of  legend and reality, both at the same time :)
a nice display of 'mosci' Jozef Brandt's art -

This the effect of my 2 hour afternoon study in digital brushwork - Mypaint and Gimp PS, great open source software for Linux Ubuntu.


a little peek at the horse and military art on the Internet:
by chance I found this fine artwork of Spanish military history painter (uses acrylics and watercolor) Angel Garcia Pinto and his blog. I must say that Señor Pinto's blog is a splendid display of his gorgeous historical illustration - angelgpinto.blogspot

the next artist's brushwork is fantastic:  he hauls from Catalunia (province of Spain) and he is the most exceptional painter of horses and Spanish XIX century  military history - don Augusto Ferrer Dalmau  -

Another fine Spanish military art and horse painter Jose Ferre Clauzel           - jose ferre clauzel

Saturday, November 20, 2010

a horse -playing with MyPaint

digital brushes at work - MyPaint   :)

Royal City of Lwow Banner 1410 sketch

 this past July there was 600 anniversary of the battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) and Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian victory over the Western European knights and Teutonic Kinghts.
I started working on this piece a while ago - it is far from finished, perhaps too far. It purports to show a Lwow banner 'ensign' mounted on his faithful 'dextrarius' aka English language  'destrier' - I am not going to refer here to the Wikipedia page on the subject as it is not a good entry.

American themes

some native Amerindian themes, I hope to do many more in the future, especially Cheyennes (I admit I have been looking at the XIX century Cheyenne Ledger art) and Comanches and Utes (been lately to a old battlefield place where more than 160 years ago Comanches and Utes fought, and 240 years ago Spanish-Apache-Pueblo expedition  was crossing the Continental Divide searching for the Cuerno Verde's Comanches)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkish rider sketch

this one is reworking of an old sketch into a new image, this time he is going to be a Ottoman Turkish cavalryman  or .. well, whether an akinci, delier or sipahi I do not know yet. Time period XVI century CE.

Polish light Rider sketch in progress

I am working on this little animated one, this time i cannot decide what kind of weapons to give to this fellow - a kozak cavalryman (not a Cossack) or Polish-Lithuanian light rider. Wearing a zupan, bare-headed, with his bow and arrow, and faithful sabre... the rest it is still to be seen

Gallic sketch

a bit of improvement work on this old painting that has never been finished - purports to show Gallic horsemen of the second half of I century BC.
Hopefully I will finish this one and another that shows a horseman hunting a wild boar