Art and History

Great art not only captures the spirit of a historical event, it can serve as inspiration for later generations. 

Take The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks for an example that is playing out as I write this. 

Commanded by the Sultan to submit, the Ukrainian cossacks sent an epic reply: 

Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!

O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are thou, that canst not slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil shits, and your army eats. Thou shalt not, thou son of a whore, make subjects of Christian sons. We have no fear of your army; by land and by sea we will battle with thee. Fuck thy mother.

Thou Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig’s snout, mare’s arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow. Screw thine own mother!

So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won’t even be herding pigs for the Christians. Now we’ll conclude, for we don’t know the date and don’t own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year with the Lord. The day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!

For a great live reading of this, check out this video. 
They do alter the text somewhat. 
The art has inspired tableaus of modern Ukrainians, plunged into a war they did not seek, to send a message of defiance. 
I really enjoyed the faithful depiction these fellows staged. 


(hat tip to Michael Z Williamson where I saw the image first)

Not all the images I found are recent, but it just shows that they do love that image and it is enshrined in their hearts. 

Even the politicians got in on it, even if they didn’t have enough people around to mimic the scene precisely – the spirit remains. 

I do love the hats, and the beautiful embroidered shirts! 


1 thought on “Art and History

  1. The Spanish did he same thing in the film version of Arturo Perez-Reverte’s novel Captain Alatriste, which takes place during Spain’s Golden Age. Many of the scenes in the movie are taken from Spanish paintings, particularly the art of Diego Velasquez.

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