Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wacław Pawliszak - painter of horses - 1866-1905

in January 1905 a rising star of Polish modern art Xawery Dunikowski shot and killed established painter and a very popular member of  Warsaw elites Wacław Pawliszak. They say it was a crime of passion, as it took place in a popular upscale restaurant full of important and known patrons eating dinner. The killer was never punished for his actions as the 1905 Revolution broke out and perhaps Xavery was too popular with then art world movers and shakers...

He was a disciple of Wojciech Gerson and Jan Matejko, lover of the so called Orientalist art and historical genre, especially Polish history, great painter of horses and mythology (illustrated Austrian/German edition of One Thousand and One Nights), great horseman and athlete, a  consumed traveler and bon vivant.

Monsieur or pan Pawliszak's works were collected privately, he died 13 years before the Restitution of Poland, and during the Communist or Soviet Poland this type of art was scorned and attempts were made to remove it from the so called ''public eye.'' Therefore most of his paintings, almost 400 were presented at the exhibit following his funeral (he left a daughter and an ailing wife), are in the private hands in Poland and perhaps in the US too, as lots of well-to-do Jewish Poles/Polish Jews took with them their paintings when emigrating to the US.

Let me show you some of pan Wacław paintings and sketches:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Late XVII century horses and horsemen from Poland

I found these prints on the net - they appear to have been made after a painting by old king Jan III Sobieski's painter Altamonte around 1697-8 or so (the original hangs at the Sobieski Palace at Wilanow, Warsaw-Poland). The painting depicted election of the Saxon prince Augustus II der Starke by the nobles of Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1697 (there were many issues with that election and history proved that this king was not appropriate monarch nor commander-in-chief nor statesman for the Commonwealth).

... a nice image of a winged hussar, with a wing not dissimilar to this winged hussar retainer's wing

... a noble rumak (fine riding stallion or gelding) with its tack, this horse appear to be a dapple grey one and some nobles with bows and quivers and warhammers

... horseman and more men with bows, behind them perhaps a hajduk ( musket and war-ax carrying infantryman of Hungarian style)

...  noble horsemen

... two nobles - perhaps a winged hussar companion and a cavalry chorągiew (company) with musicians in a background

They were going to fight in the incoming Great Northern War (1700-21), the war that destroyed Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth economy, population and military power.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Images of 'winged' hussars from Hungary

 fine images of 'winged' hussars from the former Kingdom of Hungary (actually conquered and  divided mid-1540s  between the Ottoman Turks and their vassals and the Hapsburg Empire).

Hussaria lancers and other horsemen

Turkish and Hungarian horsemen AD 1612

Companions and retainers  - horse's legs, mane and tail dyed with Brazil wood dye (or Polish kermes? dye) in the foreground

Friday, November 11, 2011

Polish Indepenence Day 1918-2011

on November 11 we, Polish people, celebrate the Independence Day as on November 11, 1918 Polish state became anew, absent from the map of Europe since 1795.
Well, I usually stay away from XIX and XX century subjects, but this day is a special day. I would like to celebrate this important day with photos of 1914-1930s cavalrymen, uhlans mostly, their horses, and links to songs and videos. My own great grandfather Jan  took part in the Polish-Soviet War, that we won in 1921.
Also, today is Veterans Day in the US (commemorating the Novemenr 11, 1918 armistice  ending War World I), and I also want to salute these men and women to their service for the Homeland.

Let me start with one of the principal architects of our Polish modern independence - Józef Piłsudski and his famous chestnut mare  Kasztanka

 Belina and his Beliniacy - from Pilsudski Legiony

And a song about uhlans Hej, hej ulani, malowane dzieci

another song Hej panienki posluchajcie
śluby Ułańskie  - ''Uhlan Promises'' - Polish 1934 film about uhlans and their espirit de corps, amongst some others aspect of their colorful life...


 another song Przybyli ulani pod okienko  ...

... Uhlans who fought at battle of Komarów, the last big cavalry battle of Europe

... Number of songs in one video

... And I have got to add our special  zurawiejki, short 'songlets' or couplets about each cavalry regiment - here all are sung by modern singers, some very humorous


 And another song - Wojenko, wojenko ...


 Enwer Bay - Polish bred Arabian stallion (1923) in 1938 photo


Today's Independence Day march of historic reenactors in Warsaw, from various periods - from the Napoleonic period to War World II

Let us finish with a song O moj Rozmarynie rozwijaj sie ...

during the Communist Soviet Poland - 1945-90 - these brave men and their achievements during 1914-21 were  put down and disparaged, especially the cavalrymen were subject to ridicule eg the infamous film by the darling of the Communists  the director A. Wajda titled 'Lotna,' showing idiotic charges against Nazi German tanks in 1939 - by the way my own grandfather and 5 great uncles took part in the battle of Bzura and later in the defense of Warsaw '39.

Things change - tempus fugit - and this past year Polish director Hoffman made a feature movie about the battle of Warsaw 1920... where uhlans are shown as they were.

Ave, uhlans of Poland!