Tuesday, April 30, 2013

daily sketch

Salve,
A quick sketch from my sketchbook - after Wojciech Kossak -a cavalry commander of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth armies.
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Interesting 'channel' on youtube  - drawing with ballpoint pen - by Allan Barbeau

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mięsopustnik turecki AD 1572


Salve,
today's entry  in Polish(translation to follow ... soon):

Mięsopustnikiem nazywano hulakę zapustnego. Mięsopustować znaczy hulać w mięsopust. Encyklopedia Staropolska

Nazwy tej, dość malowniczej, miał użyć polski rycerz opisując szermierza tureckiego a wypowiedź naszego wojownika przekazał ku potomności a sławie rycerzy polskich  imć pan Jan Łasicki, opisując wyprawę do Mołdawii wojsk polskich pod hetmanem Mikolajem Mieleckim.

Mamy marzec  AD 1572  - zaciężne prywatne i kwarciane chorągwie  polskie w liczbie 2000 żołnierzy (plus czeladź) pod wodzą hetmana Mieleckiego wkraczają do Mołdawii wraz z hospodarem mołdawskim Bogdanem jako hufiec jego 'przyjaciół' mający przywrócić go na tron hospodarski zajęty przez Iwonię (Jana III Srogiego), mimo zakazów królewskich ingerowania w sprawy księstwa Mołdawii.
Armia nasza, uszczuplona o 700 żołnierzy, natknęła się w marszu wzdłuż Prutu na stolice księstwa, Jassy, na Turków i Tatarów budziackich Iwonii, i tak w końcu marca oraz w początku kwietniu doszło do walk z przeważającymi (circa 20000 żołnierzy) a ciągle atakującymi silami tureckimi.  Pisze tedy pan Jan Łasicki, jeden z kronikarzy tych potykań z Turczynem, jak to w jednym z epizodów walk pod Chocimiem, pojawia się na krótko nasz mięsopustny bohater, prawdopodobnie wyborowy 'harcerz' czyli deli: 
  ''Pomiędzy Turkami był, jeden śmielszy od innych, i jako się okazuje, wielkiej u swoich powagi, gdzie bowiem uderzył, tam się inni wielka gromada cisnęli. Tego Turka zabił z ręcznej strzelby Młodecki, towarzysz Kozielskiego [rotmistrz Maciej Kozielski], a do upadającego zawołał: - Tak wiec leżeć musisz, mięsopustna maszkaro, - bowiem był ów Turek strojny w pióra strusie i skórę  lamparcią, na kształt zapustnych maszkar; po upadku pana, towarzysząca mu czereda Turków pierzchła do obozu''. ''Historia de ingressu Polonorum in Valachiam cum Bogdano Voivoda''
(tłumaczył z łaciny Władysław Syrokomla)

Ciekawa sprawa tu nam się jawi - czyżby nasi żołnierze AD 1572, nazywając Turka 'maszkarą mięsopustną', jeszcze nie zażywali skór lamparcich a piór strusich w boju tak jak podobno mieli to robić za Batorego i Zygmunta III etc?

ps
...więcej o wyprawie mołdawskiej AD 1572 w przyszłości... jeśli będzie sprzyjać Fortuna.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Daily sketch - Przewalski horse

Salve,
 beautiful Spring has arrived finally - and I am thinking about the big open grasslands of Eurasia, where wild horses have been domesticated by our ancestors, perhaps more than 6000 years ago.  The ancestor of the domesticated horse or tarpan has been extinct since XIX century, but its cousin, the Przewalski horse, is still surviving. I sketched this Przewalski horse head for now.  But I am going to give a try at drawing a tarpan, especially since I have this excellent (but outdated in many parts) book by David P. Willoughby titled ''The Empire of Eqqus,'' where the author drew some fine diagrams of the wild equids that are quite helpful in understanding the anatomy differences etc.
Polski konik aka Polish konik was used to recreated the extinct tarpan (Tadeusz Vetulani et al) and in Poland there is this wild horse preserve at Popielno, where wild koniki roam. From Popielno the offsprings of polskie koniki gave raise to various wild horse herds throughout European nature preserves.
Interesting article on the ecology of the wild horse and aurochs modern substitutes

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dzhigitovka - daily sketch

Salve,
today's dzhigitovka or dżygitówka is a name for the trick riding involving some superbly trained mounts and athletic, superbly fit riders that show their skills in controlling their galloping or cantering mount while performing various acrobatics on and off the saddle.
It might have had its origin in the Pontic steppe and survived amongst the various equestrian people of the Caucasus Mountains region, and during the XIX century it has been 'appropriated' by the Russian Cossacks.  But it seems to have been part of the Roman cavalry training and many other equestrian cultures practiced it, especially the Hungarians, Alans, Tatars, Persians, Kurds, Berbers, Arabs, and the Turks etc, since this demanding equestrian 'sport' had clearly the military origin and served military purpose of increasing levels of horsemanship and dexterity with weapons while on horseback, as seen  in this 1840s painting showing Kurdish and Tatar riders showing their skills.

 Old Poland during the Jagiellon Dynasty and later during the Commonwealth was a melting pot, and many noble families form the Caucasus settled in the Kingdom, including the Circassians, from whom the Russian Cossacks most likely learned their dzhigitovka.
I think this style of trick horse riding might have been the preferred way of showing their equestrian skills amongst our horsemen, especially the younger ones, since we hear nothing, via the sources,  about the American rodeo style competitions taking place among  the horsemen of Old Poland.
We know, again from many period writings, that the beauty of riding and management of one's steed along with that horse's level of collection and its own physical perfection (conformation)  were much appreciated by the contemporaries, and often commented upon, from the Middle Ages onward; and even XIX century Polish writers, who were still immersed in the Old Poland's Sarmatian culture,  still wrote  about the prowess in horsemanship as a sign of the ancestral nobility and martial spirit. 

 In pre-World War II Poland the cavalry regiments took pride in showing off with trick riding clearly visible  in this miraculously surviving video uhlans show off  their horses and their dzhigitovka moves in 1937 Warsaw.
So I sketched one - just for fun and rather quickly

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sketches

Salve,
having the benefit of the digital canvas one can manipulate an image almost endlessly - well, I am just doing that with the sketch I showed to you last time.

I started with this one - added quiver and changed the bow case - here you can see the very interesting study on the Polish and Turkish/Tatar bow cases and quivers (in Russian, but pictures can speak for themselves)


...then progressed to this version, where I changed the position of the bow case to more realistic

and finally this is the last variation, rotated the quiver and will add the sword etc

and so  now I have decided I am going to work with the last version :)

I am always interested in the history of Asia, especially nomadic Asian, horsemanship and warriors - recently there has been a major discovery in Japan of VII century AD remains of a war horse with his metal trappings and tack, so often seen in the  so called haniwa horses (eg this one), but had never been found in the burials - nota bene great haniwa of a warrior here.  I would like to see some  art and artifacts showing horse tack and warriors of the same period ( III-VIII centuries AD) from Three Kingdoms of Korea, to contrast and compare with the Japanese horsemen of the Kufun period.

                                    

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some sketches

Salve,
I have been toying with this one pen drawing of mine of a Polish or Hungarian horseman of XVII century (plus minus), consequently two separate sketches have been born -  they are progress ones, so there is plenty of work to be done yet.
1.

2.


                                             ++++

I am going to take this opportunity to share with you here  the very interesting UC Irvine Persian Studies  presentation on the Bronze Age Afghanistan by Fredrik Hiebert - aka Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex and a bit on Andronovo culture - there, some 4000 years ago a war chariot and war horse (best to read David Anthony research page )had been born within  the Indo-Iranian peoples territories.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New sketch


Salve,
I am continuing with the idea of these spirited horses,  so another one today - MyPaint and Gimp filter .



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Daily drawing

Salve,
another sketch of a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth horseman working his young colt...

MyPaint and Wacom tablet - enjoyable result I hope
Interesting article by Carlo Parisi about master of sword fighting Francesco Antonio Marcelli (''The Rules of Fencing'' AD 1685) and his sciabla(szabla) technique.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Daily sketch

Salve,
reading about the Polish ox and cow trade that I started last month and today I sketched a Polish rider doing a sort of rodeo on a young horse, hence a cavesson bridle on this spirited mount .


Friday, April 5, 2013

Musicians - a sketch in progress

Salve,
 in this post I brought  into this blog  the prints of de Bruyn - particularly the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth horsemen. In this sketch, nota bene I am using my older sketch just to play with the idea, well, here I am going for the horsemen-musicians from XVII century. There is still lots of work to be done here.
     Apparently the trumpeters or buglers  and drummers (in Polish cavalry we called them ''paukers'') were part of every winged hussar cavalry banner,  or the period iconography and surviving documents lead us to believe such was the situation.

     They were paid and were armed, since they could be fighting too, and they were busy on the battlefield playing out their part in the military operations and fighting. From the information provided in this regimental roll (record of enlistment from 1659-61)  you can see that the Western style cavalry  or Foreign 'Autorament'/Contingent (reitars) regiments  in Polish armies of XVII century a  ''pauker'' was part of the regiment's headquarters while trumpeters were attached to each company, so the regimental drummer in this particular example gets 2 as much salary as each of the companies' trumpeters.
I intend to draw some reitar musicians too, some day soon.
 The most colorful trumpeters, due to the color of their uniforms and also horses, can be seen during the Napoleonic period.
                                                      


Kircholm battle

Klushino battle

Beresteczko battle

Chocim (Khotyn) battle

...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mustang is an American icon

Salve,
 I had seen this book - Wild Horse Consipracy by Craig C. Downer  and I had this thought to myself that I need to share it with you  his idea - that the wild horses and burros ''represent a giant missing piece in the ecological puzzle of America'' and the time has come to save them, or rather enforce the existing law - Wild Horse and Burro Act.
Here is the video - Save the wild horses!
The video about his book is on youtube.  Craig wrote another book wild horses: Living symbols of freedom.
Interview with Mr Craig.
Natural Horse Magazine article on wild horses
A letter Mr Craig wrote to BLM Carson City District Office

FOREVER WILD AND FREE speach

Well, I love the America's little mustang  and believe that we, horse people, have a duty to defend them from the tyranny as the Constitution enshrines our right to do so - with the First Amendment  no less - ''Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.''
Howgh, kolas!