Tuesday, March 17, 2015

More voices on the destruction of the Iraqi antiquities

I have been away, as we had a death in our family and needed to attend the funeral etc, so finally I am back in front of my machine (need to add a solid state drive instead of the regular hard disk drive I have).

Our Western  political elites seem to come to terms with the wanton destruction of antiquities by the mad zealots and other iconoclasts in Iraq, but at least some are showing some mettle.
One such example may be the mayor of London, UK, Boris Johnson (interesting speech here), who wrote a serious piece published in the Sidney Morning Herald titled:
The world needs to act to preserve its cradle of civilisation.

I share his sentiment in this part:
But there is something about their assault on the history of the region – their moronic demolition of the past – that has filled me with a special blackness and despair.
Also mayor Johnson raises another important point about the United Nations:
What is the point of having a United Nations – What is the point of having any ability to project force overseas – if we do not come up with a way to safeguard our common heritage?
I also would like to here some answers and wish that the common heritage would be protected fast and without any delay.

 Mayor Johnson's comments about the preservation for posterity  of some of the most important Middle eastern and Hellenic antiques in Great Britain, removed from their original sites by the British representatives  during the XIX century may have some validation to it, in light of the current situation in Iraq and Syria (although the Acropolis ones should be returned pronto to Greece, an EU member ).  Nota bene other Western museums hold some of these monuments, like Louver Pergamon Museum etc .  Should add that the similar situation, i.e., destruction of country's monuments, is taking place in Afghanistan and Pakistan (there mostly for the pecuniary reasons ). On the other hand Saudi Arabia, also a very traditional Muslim country,  is working hard on preserving her heritage and sponsoring excavations and protection of the ancient sites. In Turkey it depends, the Armenian heritage and monuments seem not to be part of the preservation planning. But at least there is no destruction.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Damage at the Mosul Museum - article

a week ago I wrote about the destruction of ancient antiques at the Mosul Museum and other museums in Iraq, and today I am attaching two articles by Christopher Jones on these barbaric acts:

Assessing the Damage at the Mosul Museum, Part 1: The Assyrian Artifacts

Assessing the Damage at the Mosul Museum, Part 2: The Sculptures from Hatra

great work by mr. Jones, especially considering the circumstance, but what a sad moment in our modern history.
Article on the Parthian Hatra, and more images of Hatrene art:

Art from Iraq - via US State Dept.
A review of a scholarly book on Hatra - Lucinda Dirven (ed.), Hatra. Politics, Culture and Religion between Parthia and Rome. Oriens et Occidens.
My heart is full of sorrow

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wilki - March 1

a bit of poetry:
Zbigniew Herbert - 'Wilki' [ 'Wolves']
Ponieważ żyli prawem wilka
Historia o nich głucho milczy
Pozostał po nich w białym śniegu
Żółtawy mocz i ślad ich wilczy.

Przegrali bój we własnym domu
Kędy zawiewał sypki śnieg
Nie było komu z łap wyjmować cierni
I gładzić ich zmierzwioną sierść.

Nie opłakała ich Elektra
Nie pogrzebała Antygona
I będą tak przez całą wieczność
We własnym domu wiecznie konać

Ponieważ żyli prawem wilka
Historia o nich głucho milczy
Pozostał po nich w kopnym śniegu

Ich gniew, ich rozpacz i ślad ich wilczy.
Some of the 'wolves'
Witold Pilecki
Zygmunt Szendzielarz
Maciej Kalenkiewicz
Danuta Siedzikówna
Stanisław Sojczyński
Marian Bernaciak
and many thousands of others -
Pacem Aeternam

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Destruction of Antiques in Iraq

my heart is filled with sadness as I watch these images and the videos in the links below

 Akkadian, Assyrian, Hatrene and Parthian antiques being destroyed, thousands of years of art history and most important human history done away ... the cradle of our Civilisation is bleeding


Islamic State 'destroys ancient Iraq statues in Mosul - BBC

 ISIS fighters destroy priceless Iraq antiquities - CBS Canada - shows mroe destruction
New Islamic State video shows militants smashing ancient Iraq artifacts 

Partho-Hatrene sculpture when still intact

Shame - it seems there is only one true 'faris' in the Middle East - king Abdullah II of Jordan. Where are the others?

Historical art of Sergey I. Shamenkov

today is my pleasure to introduce to you another artist from Ukraine, who specializes in meticulous research into the military and material history of the subjects he paints and writes about - eg excellently researched article on the Swedish officers' uniforms during the Great Northern War, or antother one about the winged hussars armour of the Russian Imperial service. 

Sergey I. Shamenkov comes from from beautiful Odessa, on the Pontic cost of Ukraine, where ancient Greeks mingled with the nomadic Scythians and others some 2,700 years ago.

So Sergiey  graduated from the M.B. Grekov Odessa Art School, then Lviv National Academy of Arts, specialized in sculpture. Works in the genre of military miniature figurines, small-form sculpture, he is an author and illustrator of several military history books from the Kiev publishing house "Tempora".

Also, Sergey has been in the military history reenactment since 2001. He is a founder and director of   "Enchepingsky Infantry Regiment", "Hetman's musketeers." Member of military history clubs: Vic "Roman Vexiliatio of the province of Lower Moesia," "Legion of the OSS."

Research interests: civil and military costume of Ukrainian Cossacks, Russian Empire, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden during XVI- XVIII centuries.

Sergey signs his work as Rogala, and apart from Ukrainian language, he is fluent in Russian,  Polish is his mother's tongue,  and he knows English - :)

Finally, Sergey has an active page on Facebook, so you can find him there if you choose so.

Gallery of some of Sergey's meticulously researched works, one day we will do an interview about his art, research, and art process.
Migration Period - Huns, Slavs, Goth warriors

XVI-XVII centuries - great research and spectacular results

Great Northern War


 all the images Sergey Shamenkov's copyright.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Charles V - el rey de Espana & Emperor - on horsback

let us turn to the Renaissance Europe for a moment today, as usual about the horses and their riders, a very aristocratic rider in this instance.
The focus is on the top monarch of the Christian Europe, Charles V , who has been portrayed with knightly horses quite often.
Mind you he was not the most powerful monarch in the world at this time, actually because the was not a single most powerful monarch, but truly he was one of them, the other powerful one was the Ottoman Turkish emperor  (sultan)  Suleiman the Magnificent.
Although we may say that he was not as knightly as his paternal grandfather, der Kaiser Maximillian, nevertheless let us look at some of his fabulous portraits and other images showing el empeador Charles with horses and horse tack of his times.

Charles V, apart from the landsknechts, liked to use stradtiots and Hungarian hussars as well as German reiters and this portrait fabulous equestrian portrait by Titian shows him as a lighter cavalryman than the heavy lancer of the first part of the century.
But Charles did own many suits of armour and used heavy horse armour for his mounts, as this drawing of one of them shows.
or this contemporary woodcut print, ( from this  flicker's account )

Battle of Muhlberg and other martial pursuits

this part shows Hungarian hussars
 and more early winged hussars here

and some other images, including one associated with his conquest of Tunis


. some of the funerary procession horses of Charles V

'Fictional' portrait of Charles  by Anthony van Dyck
modern illustration showing Charles V