Saturday, April 19, 2014


Good Saturday - so a few concept sketches from my stables


Thursday, April 17, 2014


 some ideas for 'pisanki' straight from ethnographic notebooks copied from the original peasant designs by Polish XIX century pre-eminent ethnographers and folklorists- nota bene there is still time to paint some eggs  

Oskar Kolberg collection -  Dzieła wszystkie. vol. 33, Chełmskie. part  1

Zygmunt Gloger collection - Rok polski w życiu, tradycji i pieśni, 1900, p. 169, 173
Z. Wolski & T. Dowgird, Pisanki, Jaja Malowane Wielkanocne-  - from   ''Wisła, miesięcznk  geograficzno-etnograficzny z licznemi ilustracjami ''( a monthly), vol. IV 1890.


Zygmunt Jan Rumel - cavalier & poet

today is the Good Thursday (part of Holy Week) ,  so couple more days and we will paint pisanki and celebrate Easter and Smigus Dyngus - :)
 But keeping in rather sombre mood, I have been reading and thinking about the presently growing civil war in Ukraine, so inadvertently I started reading about the other civil war that turned into  Volhynia genocide and I came across a gem: the poetry of Zygmunt Jan Rumel - Polish poet and soldier in Polish Ruthenia who was cruelly murdered by the UPA (УПА), along with his two soldiers, when came to negotiate with them the fate of Poles of Volhynia. 
Sadly, present day Ukrainian leaders and elites have not been willing to admit  the genocide of Polish families perpetrated by their grandfathers and grandmothers on their Polish neighbours and often family members, while the occupying German troops stood by.


Dwukonna pleciona
kolebka tatarka,
półksiężyc w strzemionach
i baszłyk i czarka!

W sajdaku chrzęst strzały,
a w jukach daktyle
i sery dwa białe
i mleko kobyle!

I kindżał i sokół
i kołpak czerkieski
i step co jest w oku
jak niebo niebieski!

Za lasem załkała
zozula turkawka,
a księżyc głos turlał
po rosy sadzawkach!

I liściem sznurował
srebrzyste baszłyki
i konie zacinał
czerwonym pokrzykiem!

A las się już zwinął
na bystre kopyto
I zaprzęg wypłynął
Znów w stepu koryto!

Burzanem! Burzanem!
W kręcone rozłogi!
Stój!! Dworu to ściany
Stanęły w bieg drogi!

Miesiąc biały
miesiąc biały
ostrowcem płynie –
płucze rosą
płucze rosą
warkocz kalinie –

Moje płyną
moje płyną
jaśniejsze kosy –
wijąc liczko
wijąc liczko
srebrniej od rosy –

Sinym stepem
sinym stepem
bojaryn jedzie –
miesiąc złoty
miesiąc złoty
kolebką wiezie –

Oj nie miesiąc
oj nie miesiąc
wiezie on złoty –
ale serca
ale serca
szczerą ochotę –

(czerwiec 1941)


    Na śmierć poety
    A kiedy go z wami nie będzie -
    Usypcie mu kurhan stepowy -
    Aby słyszał, jak burzan pieśń gędzie
    I wiatr stepem przewala się płowy...
    By mu miesiąc wstający z limanów
    Oczy prószył kitajką czerwoną...
    I kląskanie by słyszał bocianów,
    Gdy piórami lotnymi wiatr chłoną...
    Niech tam orły dziobami pieśń skraszą,
    A teorban piosenką zakwili...
    Bo o wolę on waszą i naszą
paintings by a Polish painter from Ruthenia  Jan Grzegorz Stanisławski

Monday, April 7, 2014

A sketch

just a quick sketch - loosely based on the Persian (Parthian & Sassanian) iconography. Done with watercolour and ball pen, then the second one was  desaturated and worked over (the second image) with GIMP

Enjoy :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chivalry tournaments reenacted at Sankt Wendel, Germany

I came across the website of master of martial arts and historical riding Arne Koets, and from there I found this documentary  - The Grand Tournament at St. Wendel - that I would like to share with you.

Arno Koets site
more St. Wendel films  - 1, 2, 3 .. with reenactors like Dominic Sewell, Luke Binks, Tobias Capwell, Joram von Essen,   Petter Ellingsen, Andreas Wenzel et many others.

the saddles researched and  built by Joram van Essen et al.

  Sankt Wendel Tournament site
Program of tournaments in Europe, Canada, Australia, and US this year, via the Jousting Life
Interesting event this summer in Germany
Nice video from Denmark
Free lecture from  Dirk H. Breiding, Assitant Curator, Department of Arms and Armor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (my most favourite museum in North America :) )on how to mount a horse in armour etc
 Die grossen Ritterspiele zu Schaffhausen

Caveat - jousting is inherently dangerous  and deadly
enjoy :)
 photos are from the St. Wendel Turnier site

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Nolan's system for training cavalry horses (1862)

a while back I brought to your attention the works of Louis E.  Nolan.
In 1862 an American, Kenner Garrard (1828-1879), had a different version of Nolan's work published,  with new set of illustration plates(reflection US cavalry) and some more text, including Rarey's method of taming horses, and one on horse shoeing.
Mr Garrard was a Kentuckian by birth and a West Point graduate, who was a cavalry officer of the 2nd US Cavalry Regiment before the Civil War and fought the Amerindian raiders during the campaigns of the 1850s (almost died there bitten by a snake), and was part of the military command fighting the Kiowas and Comanches in Texas; then once the Civil War erupted he continued as a cavalry officer and commander in the Union Army, gloriously distinguished himself at Gettysburg and went on to lead various cavalry divisions, took part in the Atlanta campaign, amongst others being awarded for his gallantry on the filed of battle (Nashville 1864)
The text is available at
Below please find some of the 'American' plates


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Altdorfer's stradiots & early hussars

today master historian  Jacques Le Goff passed on - Pacem Aeternam !

ad rem,  I am going to stay on the subject of the early hussars and/or stradioti in the art of  Northern Renaissance, with a particular look at some figures painted by the famous German artist Albrecht Altdorfer .
Our master painted several very interesting Balkan early hussars or stradioti in his St. Florian altarpieces. It is interesting to note that in the last detail from St. Florian altarpieces we see a stradioto armoured and carrying a mace,

''The Battle of Alexander at Issus,'' his grand scale battle painting, at Alte Pinakothek at Munich, offers are more images of the Balkan light horsemen, some very similar to the figures of light horsemen painted in the Orsza painting.

More about stradioti in the future

interesting:  bloging about stradiots, and stradiots in miniature figurines

Monday, March 31, 2014

White Eagle - Miechowita Chronica Polonorum

circling around the Orsza battle anniversary and the White Eagle emblem in Polish historical iconography I found a perfect example of the eagle emblem used during the reign of king Sigismund Jagiellon (Sigismund I the Old). The Jagiellonian Dysnaty reign is still considered the Golden Age of Poland, however, unlike in the United Kingod and the US [sic! - it is a bit funny, the Americans, with the majority being of  German ethnicity, go gaga over the British Renaissance history :) ]  during the late XX and this  XXI century there have not been any works of popular culture, be it film, novels, plays nor graphic stories/comics about the Golden Era of Polish culture.

The image, a detail of the woodcut, comes from the title page of the first printed history of Poland, written by father Maciej z Miechowa, doctor in medicina filosofia, historian, alchemist, writer and scholar at the Jagiellonian University in Cracovia (Kraków), printed in AD1519.
I coloured the image(with GIMP) in accordance with surviving heraldic eagle images of king Sigismund I.

Also, in the same work, there are images of all Polish kings and princes, including the legendary ones (until AD1506). And amongst these woodcuts there are several interesting depictions of early sabres and also costumes of Renaissance Poles.
A few examples (do pay close attention to the swords and the method of carrying them, these are sabres and langes messer):
legendary forefathers of Poles (Lech) and Czechs (Czech)
Mieszko I

et Venceslaus

..and another eagle from the inside the text, also interesting I hope.
There is one more image from the book, however I will reserve it for another time, as there are also riders and horses in it...