Thursday, March 31, 2016

Telegram Patriotyczny - 1919

when we Poles went about winning our independence during the 1918-21 period, there was lot of patriotic art created anew, so to speak, as for the first time since 1831 (or 1795) there was going to be an independent  Polish state, and technology allowed for printing of multiple and often high quality images readily available to all, to be used for many occasions.
Surfing Polish digital libraries I found these patriotic telegrams (singular - Telegram patriotyczny) from 1919, where colorful preprinted imagery and enclosed sentences called for unity, action and pride or health - you can see the telegrams at the University of Warsaw Library - while there is room for the sender's personal handwritten text - like wishes sent to the newly wed and so on.
I selected two telegrams - with images of winged hussars, sure my favorite figures in our Polish more a millennium long history (at least since 966 AD )

also there are several interesting photos showing then modern Polish noblemen (of the XIX century), dressed up in historic armor, weaponry, and recreated costumes for the 'reenactment of Sienkiewicz's 'With Fire and Sword' 'Tableau vivant' in 1884 - photos taken by Walery Rzewuski.
Again, the winged hussars predominate in my selection;


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Gepner i czapraki

another Polish  day :)
dzisiaj znów w języku ojczystym :)
Obracając się wokoło spraw końskich i kawaleryjskich pozwolę sobie załączyć 'skany' z ciekawego choć całkiem starożytnego, bo sprzed 80 laty, artykułu mości pana Stanisława Gepnera, (biogram na Wikipedia jak i w linkach podanych) o czaprakach jazdy naszej od XVIII wieku do roku 1831, opublikowany w czasopiśmie 'Barwa i Broń', 1934, no7.

  Pan Stanisław, kawalerzysta imperialnej armii Rosyjii i rotmistrz Wojska Polskiego - 20 pułk ułanów, żołnierz Armii Krajowej, muzealnik i rysownik,  był ogromnie poważanym badaczem munduru i uzbrojenia Wojska Polskiego.
Mam szereg artykułów mości pana  i pewnie nieraz będę do niego powracał na łamach tego blogu.
Nota bene, po 50 latach od czasu zakończenia prac nad dziełem, dopiero w AD 2014 wyszedł był album ichmościów Stanisława Gepnera i  Antoniego Trzeszczykowskiego pt ''Żołnierz polski Ubiór,uzbrojenie i oporządzenie Okres 1832 -1939''  - rekomendowany tutaj. Niestety, niedostępny w sprzedaży, chyba że via antykwariaty i allegro etc..
ergo,  artykuł o czaprakach poniżej:

krótko o czaprakach w zbiorach na stronie MWP - tutaj.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter & Smigus Dyngus

 Christos Anesti "Χριστός ἀνέστη!"

happy Easter to everyone, especially to all ancient Christian communities of the Middle East, the most persecuted religious group in the world! 

I hope you have painted your 'pisanki' this year

and joyful Smigus Dyngus this Easter Monday

sad news -  Pacem Aeternam to all Pakistani Christians that were murdered in Lahore, Pakistan this Eastern Sunday, I wish speedy recovery to all wounded and traumatized. 
recently passed holidays - Happy Nowruz too.. :)
and Happy Passover ..

Monday, March 21, 2016


Salve -
dziś sięgnę do wypisu z blogu kolegi, bo to wyśmienita okazja żeby pokazać ciekawa grafikę niemiecka (z terytorium Świętego Cesarstwa Narodu Niemieckiego i z  XVI wieku).
Ergo, Kadrinazi popełnił był bardzo ciekawy wypis na swoim blogu - na podstawie 'Rejestry popisowe pospolitego ruszenia szlachty Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego z 1621 roku' ( 4 regiony administracyjne: Zmudz  i powiatów: brasławskiego, trockiego i wołkowyskiego), i w przytoczonym przez Kadrinaziego fragmencie (nota bene zdaje się ze cytowanym już w  'Studia i materiały do historii wojskowości', Vol. 18-19, strona 101, w 1972 roku  tamze -''Rejestr odnotowuje, że ktoś stawił się na podjezdku z oszczepem, berdyszem, z kordem tylko, z półhacikiem, z alabartem'' ) pada słowo alabart, jako staropolskie nazwanie 'halabardy' czyli topora na drzewcu włóczni.
  Kadrinazi za Rejestrem odnotowuje ciekawostkę, że ''pan Jan Mikołajewicz wystawił kozaka na podjezdku z alabartem[..]'. 
Poniżej mamy z  niemieckich krain wojaka, pewnie lancknechta,  z podobnym alabartem również na podjezdku czyli pośledniej jakość wojennej wierzchowcu.

Poszperałem po bibliotekach cyfrowych i min taki tekst z roku AD 1561 znalazłem a propos tego 'alabarta' choć głownie związane z infanteria czyli  instrukcje dawane drabskim rotmistrzom, gdzie min czytamy:
''A ci, co z drzewy będą, tedy mają mieć zapaliste rusznice u pasa a pawężnik ma mieć myszkę i kapalin, miecz, siekierkę, kopijnik ma mieć miecz, oszczep dobry albo alabart dobry i zbroję kopijniczą'' (z 1561 roku w 'Polskie ustawy i artykuły wojskowe od XV do XVIII wieku' )

Więcej o piechocie można się dowiedzieć w 'Historya piechoty polskiej' Konstantego Gorskiego lub u Tadeusza Grabarczyka w ''Piechota zaciężna Królestwa Polskiego w XV wieku''.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ghent Altarpiece - horses & riders

beauty of the XV century art is without parallel... especially the Northern European painting, sculpture and the Gothic architecture. 
Gent Altarpiece - is one such example. Painted for the Saint John  Church (now Saint Bavo Cathedral) in Ghent by brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck  at the order of the Ghent magistrates.
see the whole opened altarpiece below

CHRISTI MIILITES - Knights of Christ mounted  on powerful dextrarius or war horses. Horses have their mouths open, is this from the use of curb-but, or just a convention to show noble and powerful stallions, a show of manliness and virility perhaps
These are saints and historic figures - the saints are holy patrons of the Gent militia, within the realm of Duchy of Burgundy.
On a dappled grey  sits Saint Martin (or Victor) with a shield with the arms of Utreht, cross argent.
St. George is on a white charger with a shield bearing Red Cross on a field of gold and carrying a lance with such banner, he is in full modern armor circa 1430, and his armored saddle (pommel visible) is one of the earliest depictions of the armored saddles (see The Armored Horse in Europe, 1480-1620, p, 19-20).
St. Sebastian on a roan steed  with a banner bearing the  Cross of Jerusalem
Beyond him on a black horse the ideal king - Charlemagne , and on a grey mule Godfrey de Bouillon, and some other princes and knights.




iUSTI IUDICES or Just Judges - splendid palfreys

 the pearls of Virgin Mary's crown are wonderfully painted and could be a study for any painter how to paint jewlery   - all images are from Wikimedia Commons and are part of this article .

Sunday, March 13, 2016

La Belle Dame sans Merci

glorious Spring is around the corner, I hope, and soon we will be painting 'pisanki' aka Easter eggs  while perhaps watching the films on Passion or the death and resurrection of Jesus - my favorite one is titled 'Passion of the Christ' directed by Mel Gibson.
Ad rem, the Winter or the time of death, in Mother Nature, is coming to an end... so a little poetry and art of the Pre-Raphaelite movement - XIX century British artistic movement - to close, hopefully quickly, the season of cold and snow, to open into the season of love and ... well, some sorrow and longing for one  :) .
The poetry - 
John Keats, great hero of the Romantic English poetry, wrote this beautiful poem - la Belle Dame sans Merci - while 400 years earlier a French poet Alain Chartier wrote a poem under the same title, yet of a different story, also depicted by one of the Pre-Raphaelites (of the second wave), i.e., the famous Lord Leighton.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful,a fairy’s child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Frank Dicksee, also a Pre-Raphaelite painter, created this canvass, for us to admire and to dream a bit ( perhaps ).


Dicksee also apinted this animated Medieval-like scene

and I found this one, painted by a Polish artist  Zdzislaw Walczak, showing a more Polish version (a winged hussar) of the subject matter depicted by maestro Dicksee. Copyright by Zdzislaw Walczak.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chaucer Awards and knightly tournaments

it is starting to look that I will have to buy a new computer, most likely a desktop with some fine mate monitor - my old equipment is not good anymore (being a converted to Linux IMac ) ... and I want to explore the amazing possibilities of the Linux system, especially  with the upgraded digital drawing and painting programs like Krita, MyPaint and GIMP.
   Ad rem, I do read a lot of historical fiction - especially taking place in the ancient and medieval periods, but will not skip a good American Civil War novel, a tale of the Wild West or other XIX century stories.
 So I just have learned  that the Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction have been announced and one of my favorite bloggers on the subject of Crusades history and a fine historical fiction writer dr Helena Schrader won one for her 2nd novel on Balian of Ibelin titled 'Defender of Jerusalem' -  interviews with the writer here or here. Congrats!
Also, I am very surprised to have found out that another finalist is James Conroyd Martin with his novel The Warsaw Conspiracy, a 3rd  one from his series. Our XIX century Polish history written in English and in a finely crafted storyline! Hurray!

I have not read this one - Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword by Christian Kache. I am interested and will have to get this one. As you know I am a great fan of the ancient Greek history novels by Christian Cameron, so naturally I am really curious about this new writer.

The other novels , I am sure are great et al., I am not very interested in them at the moment, perhpas but for the Medieval Scottish history one.
Reenactment season is approaching fast, horses will be shedding their winter coats soon in Central and Eastern Europe, while the Royal Armouries in Leeds, UK will hold their 20th Easter Tournament from Good Friday 'till Easter Monday or the last weekend of March, and our Polish knights Jan Gradon and Jarek Struczyński  will be fighting there too - Gods speed.

Finally - if you have not found this podcast yet - there is a great podcast of the history of the Crusades - title aptly Real Crusades History, and it features a very lively discussion and presentation of the Crusder history, without mythology and 'balck' legend.  It can be found here or on youtube.
I like it very much ..

...and finally today in Poland was a Women's Day and it is quite a tradition to present your women friends with a flower or two, hence this little flower with my horsey:
 for all you women out there :)


Monday, March 7, 2016

Imci Pan Marek Szyszko - artist extraordinary

recently I had the privilege of corresponding with imci pan Marek Szyszko, one of the foremost historical illustrators in Poland and indeed, of the rest of the world. His ability to recreate historical figures, real and fictional, ranging from ancient men and women, warriors, soldiers, and priests to everyday folks is quite extraordinary - be it in line drawings, comics style or purely painterly way.
So I would like to introduce pan Marek and his art on my blog!

I should add I grew up with pan Marek's art - from his comics (eg Tajemnica Kipu  - Mystery of Quipu) to

illustrations found in the children's books like 'Historia Polski dla Piotrka' ('History of Poland for Pete') and his famous illustrations for Sienkiewicz's Trylogia, The Teutonic Knights, and Quo Vadis volume, or many bookcovers for the Bellona battles and campaigns series, and many others.

Recently pan Marek painted fabulous plates for  Wojska zakonu niemieckiego w Prusach 1230-1525 , well researched and finely written academic work published by the University of Torun 'Wydawnictwo Naukowe'- you could look at the larger samples here, here and here.

Pan Marek kindly allowed me to show here some of his horse-oriented works, and I am truly very happy to share them with you. As you can see the horses painted vary, different types and breeds are shown, in the true tradition of old Polish painters, like Wojciech Kossak, Jozef Brandt, Michal Bylina et many others.

ps the first image is from a new book published by Bellona publishing house from Poland, on the Bar Confederation 1768-72 - on February 29 we just passed another anniversary of this historic event .