Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Charles Errard le fils - Polish horses etc - MET

Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the greatest art museums of this planet, allows us to use, under the doctrine of  fair use of the US copyright laws, the images and text from their website.

                Thus  I would like to take this opportunity to share with you several equine images done by a prominent, reign of Louis XIV, French artist Charles Errard le fills (the son or the younger) - his page on the MET's website.
These are images, engravings,  of three types or breeds of horses:
Polish horse, Tatar horse (bachmat) and Neapolitan horse.

Polish Horses

Tatar Horses aka bachmat

Neapolitan charger - very interesting text pertinent to this breed of horses written by Giovanni Battista Tomassini -  here (I must buy the author's book).

and a war horse of the era, done in the Classical French Baroque  style fashionable during the king-sun aka Louis XIV's rule.

 a Normandy 'mechant, haridelle, petit cheval, mazette,' or sorry little horse, or just a 'nag'

And we should remember that king Louis was very bellicose, fighting many wars during his long reign 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Tournament - Leeds Royal Armouries Museum April 3-6, 2015

this Easter holiday a very interesting event will be taking place at the Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds, UK.
Namely,  a knightly tournament
Two  knights-reenactors from Poland will be participating in this serious championship event - pan  Jan Gradon and pan Jaroslaw 'Jarek' Struczynski

Facebook page of the Torournament
Blog devoted to the event, knights and horses (yes! )
Interview with Jan Gradoń on Jousting Life
Jarek Struczynski won 2013 Tournament of the Phoenix in California -  reported Jousting Life.
so if you near by perhaps visit and send me some pictures to share with the rest of us :)

many thanks to imci pan Jan Gradoń for letting me use the photoshowing himslef and imci pan Jarek.

                Wielkanoc tego roku w Leeds, UK to turniej rycerski  - od 3 do 6 kwietnia 2015. 
Dwóch Polakow, rycerzy szlachetnych a dzielnych,  będzie potykać się w szranakch turnieju Jej Królewskiej Mości Królowej Elżbiety II z plejadą rycerzy z reszty świata. 
                                          Życzę Waszmosciom powodzenia!! - 

                                                   Audaces Fortuna Iuvat. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bartek Drejewicz - drawing warriors with pen and tablet

pan Bartek Drejewicz, Polish multi-talented and versatile illustrator and painter, has been creating colorful images of historical fighters with a twist (to my fellow American viewers: perhaps a PG-13 parental guidance rating :) ). The image above is a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Amazon - :)
A Slavic warrior 'kniahini' (princess) with a willow branch

In Bartek's interpretation these historical soldiers become female warriors, fighers and soldiers and the author took many liberties with their costumes and uniforms. They range from ancient warriors to the Wild West fighters. Bartek took more than some liberties with their historical appearance yet preserving their look quite nicely.
More imags can be seen on Bartek's Facebok page
Bartek's blog on illustrating
Bartek's blog on painting

These are some of the fighting 'amazonian' pin-upish soldiers - Napoleonic  Era 'Amazons' mostly







 a late XVI - early XVII centuries armoured 'amazonian' rider
and others eg:


 I would like to stress that all these images are copyrighted and can be had at Bartek's websites in a fine printed version or as originals etc.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Biskupin - Bronze Age & Iron Age settlement

I have been working on some illustrations for a book on the Great Northern War, so it means less posting lately, but since this month I went to Poland and amongst others sites I visited the archaeological site of Biskupin, mostly famous for the Bronze Age/Iron Age settlement remains.
Biskupin complex from the air - a short film. another film - 80 years of archaeological excavations at Biskupin - a short documentary[Polish].
The weather was beautiful, this being still 2014/2015 winter, and we enjoyed ourselves, visiting also some historic animals gathered at the complex for research and enjoyment of their company.

I photographed some horse-related artifacts from the Museum located within this cultural complex.
a horse shoe

a bit


Wiki Commons has some galleries from Biskupin, so I just throw in some links
Biskupin site
Archaeological Museum
Polish cinema made very, very few movies related to our Medieval history, one of them was a film  based on Józef Kraszewski's novel - Stara Baśń - and some of the film was made at the Biskupin complex, in a reconstructed 'zagroda' (croft) of Wisz.
Every year there are numerous reenactment events and festival held at the complex.
Last year event archaeological festival-  20th Festival in Biskupin 2014 -  presented in a short film [in Polish]
Below some honey bee homes aka beehives

Now, it is very easy to visit other sites near by, like Gąsawa, where one of the most heinous crimes in our Piast medieval history took place,
Gniezno with its ancient cathedral complex , or visit Poznań, the city of Piasts. 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

More voices on the destruction of the Iraqi antiquities

I have been away, as we had a death in our family and needed to attend the funeral etc, so finally I am back in front of my machine (need to add a solid state drive instead of the regular hard disk drive I have).

Our Western  political elites seem to come to terms with the wanton destruction of antiquities by the mad zealots and other iconoclasts in Iraq, but at least some are showing some mettle.
One such example may be the mayor of London, UK, Boris Johnson (interesting speech here), who wrote a serious piece published in the Sidney Morning Herald titled:
The world needs to act to preserve its cradle of civilisation.

I share his sentiment in this part:
But there is something about their assault on the history of the region – their moronic demolition of the past – that has filled me with a special blackness and despair.
Also mayor Johnson raises another important point about the United Nations:
What is the point of having a United Nations – What is the point of having any ability to project force overseas – if we do not come up with a way to safeguard our common heritage?
I also would like to here some answers and wish that the common heritage would be protected fast and without any delay.

 Mayor Johnson's comments about the preservation for posterity  of some of the most important Middle eastern and Hellenic antiques in Great Britain, removed from their original sites by the British representatives  during the XIX century may have some validation to it, in light of the current situation in Iraq and Syria (although the Acropolis ones should be returned pronto to Greece, an EU member ).  Nota bene other Western museums hold some of these monuments, like Louver Pergamon Museum etc .  Should add that the similar situation, i.e., destruction of country's monuments, is taking place in Afghanistan and Pakistan (there mostly for the pecuniary reasons ). On the other hand Saudi Arabia, also a very traditional Muslim country,  is working hard on preserving her heritage and sponsoring excavations and protection of the ancient sites. In Turkey it depends, the Armenian heritage and monuments seem not to be part of the preservation planning. But at least there is no destruction.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Damage at the Mosul Museum - article

a week ago I wrote about the destruction of ancient antiques at the Mosul Museum and other museums in Iraq, and today I am attaching two articles by Christopher Jones on these barbaric acts:

Assessing the Damage at the Mosul Museum, Part 1: The Assyrian Artifacts

Assessing the Damage at the Mosul Museum, Part 2: The Sculptures from Hatra

great work by mr. Jones, especially considering the circumstance, but what a sad moment in our modern history.
Article on the Parthian Hatra, and more images of Hatrene art:

Art from Iraq - via US State Dept.
A review of a scholarly book on Hatra - Lucinda Dirven (ed.), Hatra. Politics, Culture and Religion between Parthia and Rome. Oriens et Occidens.
My heart is full of sorrow

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wilki - March 1

a bit of poetry:
Zbigniew Herbert - 'Wilki' [ 'Wolves']
Ponieważ żyli prawem wilka
Historia o nich głucho milczy
Pozostał po nich w białym śniegu
Żółtawy mocz i ślad ich wilczy.

Przegrali bój we własnym domu
Kędy zawiewał sypki śnieg
Nie było komu z łap wyjmować cierni
I gładzić ich zmierzwioną sierść.

Nie opłakała ich Elektra
Nie pogrzebała Antygona
I będą tak przez całą wieczność
We własnym domu wiecznie konać

Ponieważ żyli prawem wilka
Historia o nich głucho milczy
Pozostał po nich w kopnym śniegu

Ich gniew, ich rozpacz i ślad ich wilczy.
Some of the 'wolves'
Witold Pilecki
Zygmunt Szendzielarz
Maciej Kalenkiewicz
Danuta Siedzikówna
Stanisław Sojczyński
Marian Bernaciak
and many thousands of others -
Pacem Aeternam