Mechs, livestock and uhlans
June 19, 2015 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Jakub Rozalski is a Polish illustrator whose artwork mixes retrofuturism and the Polish countryside of the 1920s (with special appearances of Wojtek the army bear), in a style reminiscent of the Kossak dynasty of realist painters, but with mechs. Note that during WW1 the Russians did experiment with the Lebedenko (aka Tsar Tank), a 12-m high, 60-ton war machine that was barely less fantastic than those painted by Rozalski.
posted by elgilito (15 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Polish people: "Now this?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:16 PM on June 19, 2015

Some of these are pretty neat (I especially like this one). The concept and aesthetic remind me of a much darker Simon Stålenhag.
posted by byanyothername at 6:18 PM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is so cool! I saw this guy's work in an imgur gallery a while back, but with no attribution. Very cool artist. Also, according to his website some of these are illustrations to accompany his fiction. Though, I don't see where that fiction is posted or available.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 6:42 PM on June 19, 2015

byanyothername beat me to the Stalenhag comparison. These guys both combine fantastic chops and remarkable imaginations.
posted by cleroy at 6:59 PM on June 19, 2015

Needs more Lincoln riding grizzly bear.
posted by hwestiii at 7:40 PM on June 19, 2015

The concept and aesthetic remind me of a much darker Simon Stålenhag.

And there, in a nutshell, is the cultural difference between Sweden and Poland.
posted by acb at 8:38 PM on June 19, 2015 [5 favorites]

When I think of Cossack Army bears, this is what comes to mind.
posted by Rumple at 10:36 PM on June 19, 2015

Thanks for posting this - I'd seen the first couple linked somewhere with some of Stalenhag's stuff, but all of it is pretty great. The Lebedenko is interesting too, halfway between old artillery carts and a tank.
posted by harriet vane at 10:43 PM on June 19, 2015

/r/ImaginaryHistory, /r/ImaginaryBattlefields, and /r/MattePainting/ are good for this sort of stuff.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:35 PM on June 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

Marsz, marsz, Dąbrowski!

This mashes all my buttons, so excellent thank you.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:43 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've seen and downloaded some Brozalski paintings of 1920s-looking mechas without knowing who the painter was. And thought they were wonderful, but couldn't go searching for more without a name, so thanks for that. (Also what I already had were small, while many of these are of quite respectable size.)

PS thanks also for the link to the Jerzy Kossak gallery. Poking around on that site turned up galleries for Juliusz and Wojciech Kossak also. I hope it's not too much of a derail but this thread may be my best chance to get the answer to what has been a nagging mystery to me for some time. If anyone who is actually Polish or has knowledge of Polish history drops in, would you please check out this painting by Wojciech K. and tell me what incident is being depicted? Who are the partizan-looking fighters, and who is the lady with the rifle-stocked pistol? The original filename (before Imgur had its way with it) was WojciechKossak--Orleta-obronacmentarza1926.jpg, if that helps any. Thanks very much for any clues!

Returning to Brozalski--considering the photos of huge/bizarre/wondrous Soviet experimental aircraft and weapons that turn up, those period-piece mechas made me wonder whether there might be a graveyard of rusting 1920s era clanking two-leggers just like these out there somewhere, just waiting for a photographer from englishrussia to find them and document them for posterity. (And hope!)
posted by jfuller at 3:05 AM on June 20, 2015

Thanks very much for any clues!
Here you are.
posted by elgilito at 5:16 AM on June 20, 2015

Mod note: Artist's name typo fixed by request from OP
posted by taz (staff) at 5:16 AM on June 20, 2015

> Here you are.

Thank you, elgilito. That scratches a mental itch of long standing. (And respect to the Eaglets.)
posted by jfuller at 5:36 AM on June 20, 2015

The images are all really cool, but the Lebedenko was the most interesting part of this post, for me. It makes me wonder how many other crazy steampunk machines were prototyped in the early 20th century.
posted by KGMoney at 7:28 AM on June 20, 2015

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