Thursday, April 19, 2018

A couple thoughts on history and remembrance

Salvete Omnes,
on April 19 several anniversaries meet - 
today is the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, one of the final chapters of the Polish Jewry and their perhaps 800 years long history in Poland.
It was a desperate struggle of a tiny minority of the Polish Warsaw  Jews who took up arms against the Germans, not unlike the zealots and sicarii (the last name, plural Latin, is a bit weird but what do we know - dagger men might have been their name, since it was later used by the Romans to denote an assassin/murderer or sicarius) who defended Masada against the Roman Empire - whether the story told by Josephus the traitor/turncoat Flavius is true or myth is another matter.
One thing that always returns with each anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is the issue of falsifying history for idealogical propaganda and short-time goals.
Namely, the Jewish fighters who fought as the main and most significant group of resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto -in terms of numbers, equipment and military potential & achievements - was the Zydowski Zwiazek Wojskowy (Jewish Military Union) or ZZW .  Zionist and  Polish Underground State-affiliated it was strong and numerous, led by experienced former (pre-1939) Polish military officers and soldiers, it could offered leadership and means of resistance. The ZZW fighters mostly perished during the war and very few remained to tell their story.
Pawel Frenkel
 - here one of ZZW fighters, heroic Pawel Frenkel,  is celebrated on this stamp.

 However, in the post-World War Two research and publications the other organization received the honor of being the leading resistance group during the Ghetto Uprising, the Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa ( Jewish  Combat Organization), and ZZW was forgotten almost completely .
ZOB was a Communist organization and since the Soviet Union took over the Polish Republic after Jalta at al - thank you President D. Roosevelt, then they put the heavy hand on the narrative and suppressed the facts in their fine way and fashion.
Since 1945 the Communist Poland, home to a ZOB survivor Marek Edelman,  had started  perpetrating the myth of the exclusively communist resistance to the Nazi Germany and its allies during the war. Right-wing groups like ZZW were discarded to the history wastelands and ought to have been forgotten.
Since 1990s both in Poland (about Betar & ZZW) and Israel the idea of ZZW being the primary resistance group have been slowly breaking the wall of silence and resistance to the official Communist narrative.
One of the ZZW fighters dr Dawid Wdowinski survived the Ghetto Uprising and while living in NYC wrote a book about this experiences during the terrible times of Holocaust that can be had from Amazon.
One may say that in historical research in the end the truth will always win... or so it is hoped.

Today is also the 209th anniversary of the battle of Raszyn 1809, fought by the young army of Duchy of Warsaw under prince Jozef Poniatowski against the Austrian invading army. The battle marked the beginning of reconquest of parts of the partitioned Poland (including Krakow but they were denied already liberated Lwow by the Russians) by the Polish army during the 1809 campaign. Polish writer Waclaw Gasiorowski immortalized this battle in his novel aptly named '1809' (part of his Trilogy).
In English you can read Roman Soltyk account, translated by Nafziger, from Winged Hussar Publishing (on Amazon).
January Suchodolski, The Death of colonel Cyprian Godebski

Juliusz Kossak, Prince Jozef Poniatowski at Raszyn

Pacem Aeternam to all heroes!


Monday, April 16, 2018

Bear Wings aka Charles Murphy ledger drawings

Salvete Omnes,
today we are back on the Great Plains - so to speak - and a rare glimpse into the world of Plains Indians
Smithsonian Institution has had many images from their collections digitalized.
One of them is a set of 16 ledger drawings  by a rather unknown artist Charles Murphy  - Cheyenne - on the tipi covers and social customs of the Cheyenne, but there are more ledger drawings drawn by Charles Murphy.

They come from the James Mooney collection, and it was Mr. Mooney, author of many books eg Kiowa calendar history,  who commissioned them
 Full Record from the Smithsonian [terms of use]:
Mooney, James 1861-1921 
Physical description:   1 volume of 16 drawings : graphite, colored pencil, and ink ; 23 x 29 cm
Culture:   Cheyenne Indians, Indians of North America Great Plains 
Type: Ledger drawings
Date: 1904 1904-1906
Notes:    The drawings were commissioned by James Mooney of the Bureau of American Ethnology. A typed label in the book explains the purpose of the first drawing: "Design for a full size group, for the Field Museum, where the tipi and other equipments are now deposited. Tipi, travois, costumes, tipi furnishings, etc. made by Cheyenne Indians. Drawing also by a Cheyenne Indian from suggestion and dictation of owner of original tipi. James Mooney."
Summary:  Tablet containing 16 drawings including pictures of tipi designs, camp scenes, games, and Sun Dance ceremony. Inscribed, "Cheyenne Indian Sketches, Tipis No. 2" and "Drawn by Nakoimens = Bear Wings, alias Charles Murphy. Cheyenne, Cantonment, Okla"
Cite as:  Manuscript 2531, Volume 10, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Repository Loc.:  National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland
Tipi/Teepee and a family group

Starving Coyote tipi cover - war deeds: horses captured

Glad Road tipi cover - dragon flies and horse
women and men playing snow-snake game
women bring firewood
skinning the bison 
women working the hides

horse race - war bridle and no saddles
 nota bene I have got this book In Sun's Likeness and Power, 2-volume set: Cheyenne Accounts of Shield and Tipi Heraldry, authored 'jointly' by James Mooney and father Powell )  and what a study it is.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Waclaw Rzewuski - sketches III

Rzewuski pinxit

Salvete Omnes,
Waclaw Rzewuski sketches from Arabia continued, from his manuscripts at the Polish National Library -
Bedouin with a falcon
a scene from Cilicia or Cukurova, a Kurd with his horse on the left, Turks on a hunt

falconry from Lebanon
Black camel  -  the Bedouin family

very interesting site about the Manchu archery

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Pressburg - Witold Biernacki

Salvete Omnes,
nota bene there is a book coming soon and with my illustration on its cover - by Polish historian and writer Witold Biernacki titled  Pressburg 1620. Jesienna kampania ksiecia Gabora Bethlena. (PRessburg 1620, The Autumn Campaign of prince Gabor Bethlen -  from Infort Editions publishing house.
          This book, which I haven't read yet, is part of the Pola Bitew (Battlefields) series, and is devoted to the miltiary struggle of the Hungarian prince Gabor Bethlen against the Hapsburg Empire during the initial state of the 30 Years War.
Inside apart from the very interesting narrative of this campaign there are illustrations - 8 in number - by Mr. Gyozo Somogyi, Hungarian master illustrator (I wrote about his work already).
Mr. Somogyi and Zrinyi Publishing House from Budapest, Hungary kindly provided this set of illustrations showing Hungarian soldiers of the 30 Years War.
bookcover as shown on Wanax

my other set of illustrations  that were to appear along the new edition of Radek Sikora's Lubieszow 1577  has been missing in action. In fact it is the publisher - Wydawnictwo Erica - who has delayed or abandoned this publication, and it has been almost a year since it was supposed to go into print, which is really a pity since I think I painted a very nice set of illustrations  -  some 27 plates, with coats of arms and other goodies... c'est la vie.

Sketching or a daily sketch

Salvete Omnes,
Spring is coming fast to the Northern Hemisphere and perhaps with more sunshine will come more outdoor activity, but on my mind there is this idea of reviving my daily sketch posting.
well, perhaps not daily, but frequent or at least more than lately - :)
so to start with this idea a sketch - the source of this attempted illustration may be going back to the Polish Pancerny  in Certamen Equestre from 1670s.
daily sketch


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Waclaw Rzewuski - sketches II

Salvete omnes,
let's keep looking at emir Rzewuski's manuscripts:
 Bedouin family

Arabian horse saddled in a Mameluke manner
Rzewuski pinxit

a favorite horse of 'Mehmed aly Mirza'*
Rzewuski pinxit
 A Kurdish horseman and a Turkoman
Rzewuski pinxit

*original spelling by Waclaw Rzewuski

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Waclaw Rzewuski - sketches I

Salvete Omnes,
emir Waclaw Rzewuski and his manuscripts - hopefully soon will be published for all to enjoy -
Meantime, some sketches from these manuscripts - 3 volumes, including two self-depictions in two different costumes
emir Taj al-Fahr Abd al-Niszan as a Bedouin - Rzewuski pinxit

emir Taj al-Fahr Abd al-Niszan as a prince of the Mountain Druze - Rzewuski pinxit

small camp -Rzewuski pinxit

Rzewuski pinxit -Bedouins traveling

stallion - Rzewuski pinxit

Rzewuski pinxit - little caravan

Rzewuski pinxit - Hajj - detail of a larger camp scene


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter

Salvete Omnes,
happy Easter - wesolego Aleluja  Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
I hope your pisanki and swieconka are blessed and you all had a great Easter brunch -
some of my favorite Crucifixion and Resurrection paintings
Grunewald's version
Memling's interpretation
and one from Poland - crica 1509 AD
below on the right perhaps Jan Slupecki, Rrawicz coat of arms

Polish reenactors and jousters Lukasz Dutkiewicz & Krystian Mroz aka Team Poland have been participating in the Easter Tournament 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Good Saturday & pisanki

Salvete Omnes,
today in Polish Catholic churches, around the world, you can carry your basket with swieconka.. and get your pisanki blessed too.
Poland has its own breed of crested chicken - Czubatka - and for Easter most certainly an example of fine rooster can adorn my blog. Note that the Polish Partitions, World War II and Communist regime caused many things Polish to cease to exists.

las night I was looking at many paintings of Crucifixion and this one includes an example of an early XVI (AD 1501) century horse armor or barding. Jorg Breu the elder pinxit

and the late Italian XVI century armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
a close up on curb-bit from a different set of armor from the MET


Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday or Crucifixion

Salvete Omnes,
and so we have the Good Friday  today - always a good day to watch again the Passion of Christ by Mel Gibson.
a few images of Christ of Christ in art through the ages

ecce homo

Add caption

Spain is famous for her religious processions and religious confraternities of the Holy Week (La Semana Santa), especially Andalucia, where on Wed the Spanish Legion carried Mayor Dolor in Antequera,  yesterday the Spanish Legion sung its song in Malaga, Traslado del Christo de la Buena Muerte.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Ambasadorowie JKM Wladyslawa IV w Paryzu AD 1645 cz II.

Salvete Omnes,
[in Polish]
@ The Trustees of the British Museum

wielki Czwartek, tedy kontynuujmy z wjazdem wspaniałym ambasadorów JKM Władysława IV do Paryża, jakże niezwykły musiał się wydawać mieszkańcom Paryża  przejazd Wielkopolan  reprezentujących splendory i dzielność Sarmacyji europejskiej jaka była Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów:

Pan Jan Trach Gninski w tetelowej ferezyi sobolej, czapka takaż, kita z zaponą dyamentową, także na koniu tureckim, rząd różnemi sadzony kamieńmi, siodło, czaprak z turecka haftowany, przy głowie u konia kita druga z zaponą dyamentową, pałasz pod nogą złocisty z kamieńmi, którego jednak robota, nietak się spektatorom podobała, jak ćwiczenie konia, na którym siedział: bo jeszcze Królestwa Ich. Mość niewidząc, a już na kolana padał, schylając głowę aż do samej ziemi.
Panowie: Szenberk, Chocimirski, dway bracia Dzialynscy, Pan Oswiecim, Pan Morsztyn i Pan Orzechowski sistrzeniec JMci Xsiecia Biskupa, wszycy bogato ubrani, w teleby, axamity roznych kolorow, sobolami, rysiami podszytych, na koniach Tureckich bogato ubranych.
Panowie Bociszewski, Jaronowski, Szweykowski, Sierakowski, Czeski, Swieniarski, Pinowski, Kolucki, Brzeczkowski, Tremboszowski i Madaliński ubrani takze pieknie, konie osiedli.

Pan Przyjemski Sekretarz Ambassady, także pięknie siedział na koniu, jechał potem z nim Ks. Kumkali Rezydent Króla Polskiego na tym dworze, na koniu Polskim ubranym w axamit po Rzymsku, prowadził go Kapitan zbrojnych ludzi Królewskich, i Kanclerza, bogato etc. i przystoynie po Franzuzku ubrani.
Nakoniec iechali Poslowie przed ktoremi Mr: Berlize Introduktor od Krolestwa Jchmosci naznaczony. JMci Xsiaze Biskup warminski [Wacław Leszczyński] w fiialkowym tubinie i kapeluszu, na ktorym binda pelna dyamentow.
Po prawej stronie jechał JP. Wojewoda, po lewej w telecie, z złotem, kamieni pełno wszędzie tak na broni, jako i na strzemionach, rubinów, dyamentów, turkusów, czaprag złotem w kwiaty haftowany, koń ukowany podkowami zlotemi, z których umyślnie jedna na ulicy odpadła.
Po tem Pan Ciekliaski Kasztelan w zlotoglowie, czapka Sobola, na koniu Tureckim, szumno ubranym.
Za nim dwoje Xsiazat Polskih, mianowicie: Xsiaze Radziwill i pan Zamoyski, syn [Tomasza].
Bula tez liczba wielka wozów z rzeczami, które aż noc na ulicach zastała, [...] Kiedy minąwszy pałac Krolestwa Jchmosc zsiedli do pałacu Monsieur de Vandome; ulice, okna, pełne i do zliczenia niepodobne.

niezwykloscia tego wjazdu jest to, ze zachowały się rysunki  Stefano della Bella (1610-1668) wykonane w czasie przejazdu - 14 kart 229mmx483mm, wykonane ołówkiem, piórkiem i akwarela - znajdują się w kolekcji Royal Library at Windsor Castle (reprodukowane w ksiazce A.f. Blunt, The Drawings of Castiglione and Stefano della Bella at Windsor Castle, 1954).
Zadziwiające, ze tzw ministerstwo kultury RP jeszcze nie wydało albumu z tymi niezwykłymi rysunkami...ze te rysunki są właściwie nieznane ani tez nikt ich nie używana do pokazywania swiata Rzeczpospolitej Obojga Narodów..

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Baron de Eisenberg - 7 breeds

Salvete Omnes,
looking at the Swedish museum collections on wiki commons I came across several pages with horses from baron d'Eisenberg's work Description de Manege Moderne. 
I am always interested in the iconography of the period showing horses with breed characteristics, and this XVIII century work on equitation affords us such a splendid look.

Nota bene lovely engravings done by B. Picart et al.
First part of images comes from the Livrustkammaren collection , via from wiki - 1740 edition, they say -

 and the wonderful Gallica they have the entire book - from 1737, and from there come the other horses