Thursday, December 31, 2020

Ann Domini 2021

 Salvete Omnes,

dear visitors and fellow travelers: 

Szcześliwego Nowego 2021

Happy New Year

Feliz Ano Nuevo


Health & Salud!


lots of humor .. 

y Libertad :)


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

New Sassanian article by Patryk Skupniewicz

 Salvete Omnes,

my friend Patryk Skupnewicz uploaded his new article on the Academia platform.
Profusely illustrated with many Sassanian lion hunt exmaples and well argued it can be a blast. -:)

You can have it from here - along with his other scholarly articles.

and my old drawing from the Parthian-period tile showing an armored rider attacking a lion (the artefact is held at the British Museum and the photo, attached above, is available on Wiki Commons).


Infort Editions with my illustrations

 Salvete Omnes,

the end of this unhappy and strange year is very near, so some not so new 'heads up:'

so, in terms of some of the digital work I have been making, this well known Polish publisher Infort Editions published recently several books with my artwork on their covers (more to come 2021, God willing)

the first illustration was done about two years ago - it purports to show a Crimean Tatar horseman - for a cover of their magazine De RE Militari - 1/2020(5)

the second book is a new edition of the XIX century work by a Polish historian Wiktor Czermak on the Czarniecki's expedition to the Danish Kingdom during the Deluge.

I created the two-rider image for the cover and the famous commander Stefan Czarniecki for the inside of the cover etc.

 They were done earlier this passing year.

all done digitally with Krita, GIMP, Mypaint and Wacom Cintiq :) on my Linux Ubuntu machine.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Oficerskie konie & kon w pamietnikach wojennych - FBC

Salvete Omnes,

[in Polish]

koniec roku 2020 tuż tuż, i na koniec tego 'dziwnego' roku można by się podzielić znaleziskami książkowymi dostępnymi 'libre' na platformie Federacji Bibliotek Cyfrowych -

1. 'Konie w pamietnikach wojennych' której to pracy autorem był Stanisław Wotowski (1848-1931).

Książeczka wydana była w Warszawie (Imperium Rosyjskie), via Redakcja czasopisma "Jeźdźca i Myśliwego",  w roku 1905 (Warszawa : Druk. "Gazety Rolniczej").

2. Konie oficerskie w armji. Obserwacje i reminiscencje hipologiczno-kawaleryjskie. Autor to Stefan Antoni Grzegorz hrabia Sumiński herbu Leszczyc (1860-1930), kawalerzysta i hodowca koni. Praca wydana w Toruniu, już wtedy z powrotem w Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej, bo w 1930 roku. 

Autor dużej pracy hipologicznej  - Klacz stadna. Jej exterieur, pochodzenie, właściwości dziedziczne oraz inne problemy hodowlane.

przykładowe strony z 'Koni Oficerskich' - 

miłego czytania


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Horse Armor via Armourer and His Craft

and here we have the second day of Christmas.
or as the British call it - the Boxing Day.

A short entry, between the delicious lunch and eventual and equally delicious dinner.
Many times I mentioned armored horses - dextrarius opertus [singular] -but today I would like to use the available diagram from an archived book on the World Library aka Archive.
 Charles John Ffoulkes, British historian and the curator at the Royal Armouries, wrote several important works on the arms and armor of the Medieval and Early Modern European history (here  his books available via archive org library) during the early XX century.
  So in his quite famous and enduring work - Armourer and His Craft - he wrote a chapter devoted to the task of proofing the armor made by the historic armorers.
  and from the same book comes multi-language diagram showing horse armor [including the armored saddle elements] and its parts:











Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas with Botticelli's horses

 Salvete Omnes,

Merry Christmas & Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia & Feliz Navidad.


May this holiday season be  full of joy, laughter and fabulous family time - :)



and some works by or from the workshop of maestro Sandro Botticelli

including some horse heads and horse tack from Sandro's Nativity and Adoration of Magi paintings

and this amazing peacock - 


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Uccello's horses continued II

 Salavte Omnes,

Christmas is upon us - vivat!

and back to the XV century, and  here are the war and chase horses in Paolo Uccello works - one of the most magnificent of his paintings - The Hunt in the Forest:

from the Wiki Commons - a young knight performing a stop not unlike the Western riding stops and even perhaps sliding stops...

study and enjoy this masterpiece of the XV century European art


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Suleiman the Magnificent in Jan Swart van Groningen's stylus

 Salvete Omnes,
a little 'orientalising' as it seems to me to be proper to show before Christmas since 2020 years ago the very Oriental Magi and their sumptuous caravan, following the Bethlehem Star, were in process of traveling to Palestine/Holy Land  in order bow to Baby Jesus at at shepherds' stable at Bethlehem. 

 Northern Renaissance  artist Jan Swart van Groningen is thought to have carved the plates showing the Ottoman emperor (sultan) Suleiman and some of his horse troopers  circa 1526 AD - these are some magnificent pieces of woodcut art, nota bene  so popular in the Holy Roman Empire at that time. 

hence the plates either  from Wiki Commons or  from Rijks Museum :
1. his imperial highness Suleiman the Magnificent

2. trumpeters 

3. three horse archers - Turks?

4. Mameluke horse

5. Arabian horse 

We should remember that there are period images that come from the Ottoman artists themselves, and also the Italian and other more eastern European artists as well.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Jacek Komuda - Wizna 1939

Salvete Omnes, 

[in Polish]

Święta za pasem, i świąteczne choinkowe dawanie  prezentów od serca i... 'z obowiązku' w toku (i to do 6 stycznia czyli starożytnych Trzech Króli), ergo chciałbym polecić szukającym pomysłu na prezent pod choinkę niezwykle ciekawą, ba, pasjonująca wojenną powieść historyczna (z elementami fantastycznymi) mości Jacka Komudy o Wiźnie 1939 - polskich Termopilach - powieść poświęcona obronie umocnień tzw Reduty Wizny przez 3cia kompanie et al., obrona dowodził  polski Leonidas  czyli kapitania Władysława Raginisa, z batalionu 'Sarny' Korpusu Ochrony Pogranicza. 

Tytuł: „Wizna” 

Wydawnictwo: Fabryka Słów 

Liczba stron: 420 

ISBN: 9788379645886 

Data premiery: 18 września 2020 

O samej bitwie można poczytać, gdy chce się dokształcić a priori, na stronie Stowarzyszenie Wizna 1939 - Wizna 1939

Na stronie można przeczytać zapowiedz wraz z oświadczeniem Stowarzyszenia Wizna 1939 w sprawie powieści. 

Fragment powieści tutaj

a i sa recenzje: 

1 - z powyższego portalu historia 

2 - MHB recenzja 

3 - recenzja 

Wizna Jacka Komudy jest trzecią z cyklu powieści o Wrześniu 1939 tegoż pisarza-historyka.

 Z końskich tematów, które przewijają się przez cykl, to czytając z uwagą dowiemy się skąd wziął się słynny ogier w pierwszej powieści z cyklu, ów koń polski staropolskiego chowu i eksterieru, na którym major Dobrzański pseudonim Hubal galopuje na kartach 1wszej powieści z cyklu, i..,  'Hubal.'

Książka wielką sprawiła mi przyjemności - i jako historykowi, i czytelnikowi opowieści fabularnych i fabularyzowanych - gratulacje dla mości pana Jacka za stworzenie przejmującego i przepięknego fresku wojennego, pełnego realizmu i ducha wojowników niczym z Iliady czy opowieści Herodota o obronie Termopil, Honor rycerski i wojownika a żołnierza, obowiązek, rozpacz, wzruszenia serca i nieszczęścia nieprzygotowanej do wojny II Rzplitej to tylko cześć 'tumanu', który unosi się nad wyschniętymi tamtego lata bagnami nad Narwią. 



Thursday, December 3, 2020

Poland's invasion 1939 - Case White

 Salvete Omnes,

Polish cavalry squadron taking care of their mounts - photo by a Polish officer Narcyz Witczak-Witaczynski


it has been 3 months since the 81st anniversary of the 1939 German & Slovak & Soviet Russia invasion of Poland.

In this season of gift giving and period of extended home stays perhaps one book to consider 'pronto' is the work by Robert Forczyk titled Case White, The Invasion of Poland 1939. 

officers of the cavalry reserve mounted


You can get it at Amazon or a real book store, if open, but this book is a must for a World War II military history aficionado and/or historian. Since the author provides finally not the German and British version of the September 1939 debacle, but a balanced one, based on Polish sources too. Published by Osprey Military Publishing in 2019 it is available as a printed book, kindle or audio-book (I would say in this formt it is a bit long and not easy to listen to, but then all his books World War II  are very dense facts and sources readings).
Lt. Colonel Forczyk, US Army retired, spends time analyzing the cavalry actions of this campaign of World War II, and many a reader will be surprised to see his findings.

Nota bene Mr Forczyk's scholarship puts to shame the famous World War II histories written be Anthony Beevor or John Keagan (who used 'zero' Polish sources and repeated happily the German propaganda and fantasies, while nicely 'forgetting' their own country role and misdeeds in the last global war beginning and path to).
So with Case White the reade may have a fine occasion to learn and study anew[sic!] the real case of the alleged German Blitzkrieg, Soviet stab in the back, and true Polish military response to the onslaught in 1939.


2nd Cavalry Division - one of the regiments' regimental standard with its escort

In fact this book goes against the invented historical narratives of the World War II winners - USA, Russia (previosly USSR) and United Kingdom. 

when in cavalry, there are some duties



I am glad to favor and praise this Osprey publication, since lately many of their books have been curiously on the fantasy & myth side than the actual military history. But then it is my own private opinion -
and while at this, go register on where plenty of excellent articles, dissertations, entire books and other scholarly works are available directly 'libre' from the writers themselves.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

War and hunt horses in Paolo Uccello paintings I

Salvete omnes,

November 2020 is over - and let us welcome the new month and at the same time the very last one of this sad 2020 - December.
Let us hope  it will be more joyful and healthier to us all than the previous seasons of the 2020.
As my favorite video bloger & lawyer Viva Frei says - we live in this 'mysharona cirrus'  world, time of power grabbing  perpetrated all over the Western world.
But Christmas is  the most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes. And it will come galloping at us pretty fast...


ad rem,

first a little remainder on the horse conformation  and artist proportions from the XIX century.

on  the subject of the great Medieval knightly horse - dextrarius -  let us turn to the artwork of XV century painter from  the beautiful Italian city of Florence, maestro Paolo di Dono nicknamed Uccello wiki/Paolo_Uccello  ,

 We can start with the Saint George and dragons paintings -  nota bene note these fabulous fantastic beastly dragons not dissimilar  to many monsters from the Witcher's saga by Sapkowski (too bad Netflix truly botched this production last year)