Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sebastian Sobieski by Ivo Preda

      I love historical miniature figure sculpture, sculpting and painting, and for years I have been vising various shows in the US to see master modelers in action and their art on display - Planet figure is the best platform for all about the miniature figurine world.

     Recent international show in Chicago, the World Expo, saw among many fine sculptures and dioramas this fabulous  mounted figurine by the one of the preeminent master modelers in the world maestro Ivo Preda.

     Upon seeing the photos of this piece I had asked maestro Preda whether I could show them on blog to which he gracefully consented.

       so, below find photos of this very piece -  of starost and Crown Standard-Bearer Sebastian Sobieski, Janina Coat of arms

based on the above Stockholm Roll depiction of this vexillifer regni (chorąży koronny) painted circa 1605.
   Pan Sebastian was the younger brother of our famous warrior, voivode, and also a vexillifer regni pan Marek, who was the grandfather of our king Jan III Sobieski, the Lion of Lechistan. (see Paprocki and Niesiecki for Marek Sobieski deeds of arms)

First, the work in progress

finished figurine

all photos of the figurine copyright @ maestro Ivo Preda

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stubbs - The Anatomy of the Horse

Salvete omnes,

whenever I can I study the horse -  conformation, anatomy, physiology, behavior etc, just name it. I can say I am lucky to have horses around. But with our technology and 'gadgetry' we can have a horse image & film or a book/article right there on our device, without having to go to a stable or pasture or slaughterhouse and definitely without smelling its certain smells.

More than 260 years ago one English artists did not mind the smells at all and he spent countless hours and years drawing horse carcases in order to learn equine anatomy.
Hence I would like to turn your attention to a set of splendid engravings that offer the first anatomically correct and esthetically fabulous study of horse anatomy. These anatomy engravings and drawings were executed singlehandedly  by the English artist named George Stubbs, already  a maestro of the equine art, and in these  plates even today one can find help and guidance, and beauty.

In order to carry his task of doing the study of horse anatomy Stubbs rented a farmhouse in Horkstow in Licolnshire, as Venetia Morrison, author of The Art of George Stubbs, explains in here work (pages 21-45) - he would spent there 16 months of hard work, with 'carcasses in more than purified state.' would complete them around 1758, and additional 8 years to complete the plates as etchings etc and have the work published as The Anatomy of the Horse (1766).
I will quote directly the method as described by Ozias Humphrey, author of the Memoir written circa 1795 (the Picton Collection, Liverpool City Library), cited by Ms Morrison:
'The first subject wch[which] was procured was a horse wch was bled to death by the jugular vein - after wch the Arteries and veins were injected[with warm wax says Ms Morrison]. Then a bar of iron was suspended from the ceiling of the room, by a teagle [hook] of iron to wch iron hooks were fix'd - under this bar a plank was swung abt[about] 18 inches wide for the horses feet to rest upon - & the Horse was suspended to the bar  of iron by the hooks above mentioned which were fastened  into the opposite side of the Horse to that intended to be design'd, by passing the hooks to though the ribs & fastening them under the Back Bone - and by these means the Horse was fix'd in the attitude wch these prints represent and continued hanging in the posture six or seven weeks, or as long as they were fit for use - His drawings of a skeleton were previously made - and then the operations upon this fix'd subject were thus begun. He first began by dissecting & designing the muscle of the Abdomen - proceeding through five different lays of muscles until he came to peritoneum and the plura though wch appear'd the lungs & the intestines - after wch the Bowels were taken out & Cast away. - Then he proceeded to dissect the Head[..] and so he proceeded till he came to the Skeleton - it must be noted that by means of the Injection  the Muscles. the Blood vessels, and the Nerves, retain'd  their form to the last without undergoing any Change of position.
In this manner he  advance  his work by stripping off Skin and clearing  and preparing as much of the subject as he concluded  wou'd employ a whole day to prepare, design and describe, as above related till the whole subject was completed'
Ms Morrison writes (p22) that Stubbs must have read the Albinus ' Tabulae Sceleti et Musculorum Corporis Humani (1747), where Albinus explained his method


Monday, July 10, 2017

Passages d'outremer & Experimental Lance Technique

Salvete omnes,

the article by dr Tobias Capwell on the late medieval couched lance technique and experiments done by the reenactors using such technique.

 Also, the great French digital library provided us with a scan of the entire manuscript titled Passages faiz oultre mer par les François contre les Turcqs et autres Sarrazins et Mores oultre marins (short title Passages d'outremer and can be bought in a modern edition from Taschen), written by Mamerot and with the illuminations that were  painted by Jean Colombe  during AD 1472-75. These paintings, painted for Louis de Laval, are extraordinary and just beautiful - using the library is easy and illusminations can be enlarged and downloaded for your use and enjoyment.

Italian XIX century painter Ludovico Marchetti's painting - Before the trounament


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument

Salvete omnes,
I love monumental sculpture, especially when it contains horses and /or horsemen.
Long time ago I visited Baltimore and among the places where we walked was the area of the J. Hopkins University and Wyman Park (no mention of it in the Wyman Park Wikipedia page)  where there are two very interesting monuments
- Union Soldiers and Sailors Monument
- Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument
The two Southern rebel (Confederate United States) generals monument is a great equine sculpture, powerful and full of emotions.
But it carries more than the beauty, for its symbolism and uncertain fate is part of the hot and divisive quarrel about the place of the monuments to the Civil War in the current American society and culture.
The city wants to remove this monument, along with 3 more monuments including the monument to the US Supreme Court chief judge who authored then famous or nowadays infamous case of Scott vs Sanford of 1855.
While I do not like the idea of the removal of these monuments, especially the beautiful Jackson & Lee, it is the way democracy works, without any regard towards history or beauty, whatever it useful to the politicians at the moment.
Some articles and voices supporting the idea here, here , here and here. Including here is the piece authored by the historian[sic!] of the official proposal to remove Jackson & Lee monument.

Ad rem, the sculptor of this fine monument was a woman named Laura Gardin, who married the famous sculptor James Earl Fraser, hence she is known as Laura Gardin Fraser. (interestingly the Wiki Commons page about the artist does not show any photos of her Jackson & Lee monument).

Nota bene, their studio in Westport, Connecticut, where they both had worked since the early XX century, when they died without heirs was demolished and many sculptures and casts there were destroyed, in the true American fashion of total disregard of history and beauty.

A short article about the monument by Scott L. Mingus, with photos. Scott also put his 2 cents about the issue of the monuments removal.

A piece by James LaFond against the removal, with many insights into the Baltimore politics. (interview with LaFond about living in a failed modern city, could be pretty scary to most)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Winged Hussars and POTUS & US Cavalry

Salvete omnes,
US President Donald Trump came to Warsaw, capital of Polish Republic, last Wednesday (5th of July), and on the 6th of July he delivered the historic speech in front of the thousands of cheering people from around the country, having behind him the Warsaw Uprising Monument (Krasiński Square), with the Krasiński Palace giving the Baroque opulence to it all. You can also watch this speech here.. and also read the transcript ( the National Review's look at the speech and reactions to it). As Polish-American I truly thank Mr. Trump for this speech.

Winged hussars, small poczty or 'lances' from 4 reenactment companies in Poland, also came to Warsaw, in order to establish a camp and then to display the ancient and moder feats of horsemanship and military skill and decorum, and to deliver mock charges for the thousands of folks who gathered in this field to enjoy  the Ministry of Defense festivities set up at the National Stadium - located in Praga (borough of Warsaw).
Radoslaw Szleszynski winged hussar companion tent

Copyright @ Zelazny Jan - Pasja Fotografowania

I was there and here are some of the photos from the Hussaria camp.
I came with Radoslaw Szleszynski & dr Radoslaw Sikora, and my son & sister, we had a jolly good time, showing the camp and explaining the history of the winged hussars to many a visitor until the late evening.
inside of the tent vsible, with dr Radoslaw Sikora presiding - :)

As you can see some of the visitors were the American soldiers from the US Army, 2nd Cavalry, doing their rotation in the Mazury lake district in Poland.

mounting the winged hussar Pawel Moczkowski's tall, over 170cm at withers, gelding - wielkopolski

with the Gniew Castle castellan, husaria hetman and world famous jouster imc Pan Jaroslaw  Struczynski