Saturday, July 14, 2018

Westerveld - husaria or winged hussars circa AD 1651-52

Salvete Omnes,
Abraham Westerveld, a 'peregrine' painter from the Dutch Republic, worked for several years in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in the employ of prince Janusz Radziwill, grand hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania army. It was the time of the Chmielnicki's rebellion, and hetman Radziwill beat several times the rebellious Cossack armies sent against him by hetman Chmielnicki. Radziwill's army retook Kijow (Kiev of today) from the rebels in 1651. The rebellion brought the destruction of the Ruthenian lands, as the result of this uprising  Cossack Ukraine was depopulated and Left Bank subjugated by the Grand Duchy Muscovy (future Russian Empire) and officially annexed in 1686, while Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was seriously weakened and lost huge amount of land and peoples, later leading to the Ottoman invasion of the Polish voivodeships of Podolia, Wolhynia,  Ruthenia etc and the subsequent long Polish-Ottoman wars 1672-1699.
Westerveld painted some interesting paintings (now lost - Germans and Soviets took care of this disappearance, but who knows perhaps in some Austrian or German house these paintings can be seen hanging ) during this employment with the prince, and drew many drawings - the drawings were done during the campaign in the rebellious and hostile country of the Zaporozhian Cossacks; these drawings were copied in the late XVIII century, and the copies survive in the Polish Army Museum Collection at Warsaw.
I would like to share with you some details from his drawings showing winged hussars as well as the hetman's staff, and znak hetmanski aka hetman's sign.
amazing detail - considering the image is from Wiki Commons

Bellow a smaller detail from another panel showing one of the stages during the victorious battle of Lojow AD 1651  - my friend Witold Biernacki wrote a book about the 1st battle of Lojow or the AD 1649 one.

more hussaria from the battle of Lojow AD 1651

 Hetman in Kiev AD 1651
Radziwill and his hussaria etc entering Kiev

more hussaria and prince with his ensign behind him holding his hetman's standard and sign of military command

Karol Lopatecki [in Polish] wrote an article about  using the period iconography as a primary source material in study of history as evidenced by Erik Dahlberg's drawing and/or print showing the destruction of the Sandomierz Castle by the Swedes in 1656.
 in sports world this being Mundial times (go Croatia! - this Sunday Croatia versus France )- in March 2018 the fleetest Polish runners beat the amazingly fast American  runners during the 4x400 meters relay race of the World Indoor Championships in  Birmingham, UK.  they held then the World Record at 3:01.77 minutes.

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