Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quick sketch after Gembarzewski

just a quick sketch in MyPaint after pan pułkownik Bronisław Gembarzewski's image of winged hussar officer (rotameister) that colonel Gembarzewski drew for his publication on the Polish hussars titled 'HUSARZE UBIÓR OPORZĄDZENIE I UZBROJENIE 1500-1775' (''Winged Hussars, Costume, Equipment and Arms 1500-1775'') published in 1930s.

Lately his publication has been reprinted (hardcover, with colour added) by the publishing house Napoleon V. I have in my collection the 1999 softcover reprint by Arcadia publishing house.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Some newer sketches in MyPaint

 allow me to show you some newer sketches done with MyPaint software and tablet.

interesting video on using the rear cinch on western saddle - by the master saddle maker David Genadek.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adama Niesiołowskiego usarskich koni ciąg dalszy

again, this post will be mostly in Polish:
finał opisów konskich uczynionych przez imci pana Adama Niesiolowskiego w Przeglądzie Kawaleryjskim

o szarżach ''kolano w kolano'':

o skrzydlach usarskich:

o szkoleniu husarskich koni i jeźdźców:





Polish publishing house Napoleon V is about to publish a book on the Crown hussaria during the Polish war with Turkey 1672-76, when hetman and then king Jan Sobieski worked to revive hussaria after the years of Deluge and wars with Muscovy, achieving great victories against gallant Ottoman Turkish armies and their pillaging yet tremendously dangerous Tatar allies: this is the book

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Adama Niesiołowskiego koni usarskich opisanie

 today's post will be in Polish :)

w Roku Pańskim 1929  pan Adam Niesiołowski napisał artykuł do czasopisma kawalerii II Rzeczypospolitej zatytułowanego ,,Przegląd Kawaleryjski'' i  ukazującego się w latach 1924-1939 czyli do końca II Rzeczypospolitej.

  Artykuł traktuje o husarii, jej historii, uzbrojeniu, taktyce oraz koniach; mosci pan autor używając źródeł patrzy (analizuje) na husarię na tyle na ile pozwalał stan nauki o historii tejże formacji polskiej jazdy w tym słynnym 1929 roku (rok Wielkiego Kryzysu).

  Pełny przypis: Adam Niesiołowski, Ussarze, Przegl. Kawaleryjski, nr 5-6 (43-44), 1929, ss. 357-384.

Zajmę się tylko fragmentami opisującymi konie, i oto one:






  Bardzo ciekawa jest uwaga pana Niesiołowskiego o szarżowaniu 'kolano w kolano' ale o niej i trenowaniu koni husarskiej jutro.
  Przy okazji mamy tez uwagi pana Adama o skrzydłach husarskich, które zamieszczę także jutro.
Numery ''Przegladu'' są dostępne na stronie Wielkopolskiej Biblioteki Cyfrowej
Dyskusja o siodłach polskich i nie tylko na historykach.org

Monday, November 12, 2012

Polish horses covered with animal skins - della Bella's prints

today we will travel to Rome AD 1633 and see some horses as seen and drawn by XVII century Italian artist Stefano della Bella.
Our king Wladysław IV sent his friend Jerzy Ossoliński as his ambassador to the court of His Holy See Urban VIII in Rome.
Our royal ambassador made an entry into Rome that became famed for the fine horses (some with actual gold horseshoes), splendidly mounted and attired riders and general wealth and opulence displayed by Ossoliñski's retinue.
But the subject of my entry today is the use of wild animal skins for saddle cloths/shabraques used on some horses of the Ossoliński's court.

   The usage of large animal pelts is nothing new in the Eurasian horsemanship (eg discussion of Greek and Macedonian usage of lion, panther etc skins is discussed in the book by J.K. Anderson titled Ancient Greek Horsemanship) - the most famous is Alexander the Great's shabraque in the Mosaic. The image above shows a Hellenistic Period stallion covered with a panther skin, smartly secured on the horse.
Russian scholar A.V. Simonenko in his book "Sarmatskie vsadniki Severnogo Prichernomorya" ( Sarmatian horsemen of the Northern Black Sea)  reconstructed some of his riders with panther skin as a saddle cloth.

 Thracians who fought the Greeks, Macedonians, Skithians, Romans and whoever moved onto their lands also used the leopard skins for their saddle clothes as evidenced by their tomb art:
The Thracians disappeared within the sea of their Slav, Iranian and Turkic invaders after these peoples had settled in the Balkans however some of their customs perhaps did not, perhaps adopted and practised due to their martial character and extravagance.

   The riders of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and their neighbours to the south, the ones from the former Kingdom of Hungary and their conquerors from Ottoman Turkey liked tu use these lion, leopard or even bear skins as coverings for their horses, underneath the saddles or as a horse cape, covering already saddled horse (as in the example on top of this post).

The Balkan riders and their horses covered in lion skin are epitomised in this image:

And one with a bear skin here:

So let us see the della Bella's prints - commentary written on each images:






there will be more about this entry into Rome in the future, or so I hope

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Poland's Independence Day

Salve friends,
 today is Poland's Independence Day - established by the Polish Sejm (parliament) to commemorate Poland's return to the map of the world in 1918. My great-grandfather and his brother and many of our cousins and uncles took part as soldiers in the 3 years long struggle (with Germans in Wielkopolska and Silesia, Czechs, Ukrainians,  and the Soviets) to establish Polish Republic after 123 since the Partitions.

...Vivat Polonia ...

Polish Eagle on Wikipedia 

Some Polish historic songs:
Bogurodzica - the oldest known Polish military song 
Pieśń konfederatów Barskich
Duma Rycerska 
Ballada kresowa
Warszawskie Dzieci
Marsz Dzieci Lwowskich
Powstanie Styczniowe 
Chłopcy silni jak stal
Serce w plecaku
Czerwone Jabłuszko
Czerwone Maki na Monte Cassino
Maszeruja Strzelcy
Dziś do ciebie przyjść nie mogę
Rozkwitały Pęki Białych Róż
O mój rozmarynie
Wojenko Wojenko
Przybyli ułani pod okienko
Hej, Hej Ułani Malowane Dzieci
Ostatnia kula
Paweł Kukiz mix
and one metal song by a Swedish group Sabaton about battle of Wizna titled 40 to 1

On the webpage of Polish bard, author, art historian, poet and Old French literature translator one can listen to the historic songs - Jacek Kowalski

today is also Veterans Day in the great United States of America - honour your Veterans.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Turkish horses and their tack in Melchlior Lorck's art III

   continuing the cycle of Melchior Lorck and his Turkish horsemen prints, I want to show this next image - a splendid horseman, with a so called Balkan shield adorned with an eagle wing.
   The horse tack here is again both splendid and very practical as in the previous piece. Tail is again either tied or gathered with a metal or fabric, or leather band/thongs, going back to the Ancient Iranians' traditions. Note that our sipahi is armed with a lance adorned with a small  triangular pennon( with small tassel), and apart form a curved, wide sabre he has also a narrow tuck (estock) and a warhamer, both under his left leg.

As we see below, this sipahi is holding a fine shield, and here we have a MET collection piece from XVI century.
However, I would disagree with the last part of the description on the MET page in the aspect of the costume coping by the Turkish foes - ''Even at a time when Turkish armies were a constant threat to eastern Europe, their costumes and tactics were imitated by their Christian foes.'' We know, from the iconography and written works/sources that at the time of the Turkish conquest XIV century through XVI century already had had their own traditions, including material culture and martial costumes. Conquering Ottomans were actually an amalgam of the peoples of the Balkans and Asia Minor, some joined freely and some under the sword, and these peoples traditions - especially Greek, Slavic, Hungarian and Vallachian - were being adopted by the Ottomans, heirs-by-conquest to the Byzantine Empire. The prints by Lorck and other printmakers of XVI century are part of the period testimony that the interchange between the conquerors and conquered went both ways.



Great example of the Ottoman Sipahi's shield in this print of a sipahi armed with a lance and dismounted this time. Actually there are several more prints of sipahis or other horsemen armed with lances and protected by shields in the Lorck's collection of Ottoman prints.

an example of a shishak helmet and a Hungarian-style shield from the MET, similar to the ones displayed in the Lorck's prints