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Picture of the day archives

2004
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2005
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These featured pictures, as scheduled below, appeared as the picture of the day (POTD) on the English Wikipedia's Main Page in the last 30 days.

You can add an automatically updating POTD template to your user page using {{Pic of the day}} (version with blurb) or {{POTD}} (version without blurb). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.Purge server cache


June 13

Lichfield Cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Lichfield, Staffordshire. A church was first built on the site in 700 by Bishop Headda to house the bones of Saint Chad of Mercia. The original wooden building was replaced by a Norman cathedral made from stone, which in turn was replaced by the present Gothic structure, begun in 1195. The cathedral suffered extensive damage during the English Civil War: the central spire was demolished, the roofs ruined and the stained-glass windows smashed. Bishop John Hacket began the restoration in the 1660s, but the damage was not fully repaired until the 19th century. This photograph shows the exterior of the cathedral as seen from the northeast.

Photograph credit: David Iliff


June 12

Common blackbird

The common blackbird (Turdus merula) is a species of true thrush, in the family Turdidae. It breeds in Europe, Asiatic Russia, and North Africa, and has a number of subspecies across its wide range; a few of the Asian subspecies are sometimes considered to be full species. Depending on latitude, the common blackbird may be resident, partially migratory, or fully migratory. This female northwestern African blackbird (T. m. mauritanicus) was photographed in the Souss-Massa National Park, Morocco. This small, dark subspecies breeds in central and northern Morocco, coastal Algeria and northern Tunisia.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


June 11

Thích Quảng Đức

Thích Quảng Đức was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy road intersection in Saigon on 11 June 1963, in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô Đình Diệm. Images of the act were circulated widely around the world and brought attention to the policies of the Diệm government. This photograph of Quảng Đức's self-immolation was captured by the American journalist Malcolm Browne for the Associated Press; Browne later won the 1963 World Press Photo of the Year and a Pulitzer Prize for his photographs of the act.

Photograph credit: Malcolm Browne


June 10

Art and engraving on United States banknotes

Artists producing art and engraving on United States banknotes transitioned to steel engraving, which enabled a rapid advance in banknote design and printing, during the 19th century. This vignette, engraved by Charles Burt for the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, depicts the baptism of Pocahontas, and is a copy of an 1840 painting by John Gadsby Chapman on display in the United States Capitol rotunda. From 1875, the vignette was used on the reverse of twenty-dollar bills as part of the first issue of National Bank Notes.

Engraving credit: Charles Burt, after John Gadsby Chapman; restored by Andrew Shiva


June 9

California State Capitol

The California State Capitol, located in Sacramento, is the seat of the California government. The building houses the chambers of the California State Legislature, comprising the Assembly and the Senate, along with the office of the governor of California. The Neoclassical structure was designed by Reuben S. Clark and completed between 1861 and 1874. The California State Capitol Museum is housed on its grounds.

Photograph credit: Andre m


June 8

Lucy Arbell

Lucy Arbell (8 June 1878 – 21 May 1947), was a French mezzo-soprano whose operatic career was largely centred in Paris. Her career was particularly associated with the composer Jules Massenet, who created a number of operatic roles for her before his death in 1912. This carte de visite of Arbell was created by the French photographer Nadar.

Photograph credit: Nadar; restored by Adam Cuerden


June 7

Sexual dimorphism

Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the two sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics. Differences may include secondary sex characteristics, size, weight, color, or markings, as well as behavioral and cognitive differences. In the butterfly species Colias dimera (also known as the Dimera sulphur), seen here mating in Venezuela, the male on the right is a brighter shade of yellow than the female.

Photograph credit: Paolo Costa Baldi


June 6

Al Grey

Al Grey (June 6, 1925 – March 24, 2000) was an American jazz trombonist who was known for his plunger-mute technique. After serving in World War II, he joined Benny Carter's band, then the bands of Jimmie Lunceford, Lucky Millinder, and Lionel Hampton. In the 1950s, he was a member of the big bands of Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie before forming his own bands in the 1960s. This photograph by William P. Gottlieb shows Grey still performing into the 1980s.

Photograph credit: William P. Gottlieb; restored by Adam Cuerden


June 5

Ben-Gurion's hut

Ben-Gurion's hut was the retirement home of David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, and his wife Paula from 1953 until his death in 1973. The "hut", located in Sde Boker, a kibbutz in the Negev, in southern Israel, was preserved exactly as it was left by Ben-Gurion after his death, and now serves as a museum with a visitors' center operated by the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute.

Photograph credit: Hanan Epstein


June 4

Book of Tobit

The Book of Tobit is a Jewish work from the 3rd or early 2nd century BCE describing how God tests the faithful, responds to prayers, and protects the covenant community (the Israelites). It is regarded as part of the biblical canon of the Catholic and Orthodox churches as a deuterocanonical book, but as part of the biblical apocrypha in some Protestant churches. This 15th-century oil-on-panel painting by Filippino Lippi, entitled Tobias and the Angel, depicts a scene in which Tobias, Tobit's son, goes on a journey accompanied by an angel, without realising that he is an angel, and is instructed what to do with the giant fish that he catches.

Painting credit: Filippino Lippi


June 3

Double-banded plover

The double-banded plover (Charadrius bicinctus) is a species of bird in the plover family native to New Zealand. During the winter and the spring, it has a dark, greyish-brown back with a distinctive white chest, a thin band of black below the neck running across the chest, and a thicker brown band below. Outside the breeding season, the double-banding is lost; this photograph, taken in March, shows a double-banded plover in non-breeding plumage at Boat Harbour in New South Wales, Australia.

Photograph credit: John Harrison


June 2

Célestine Galli-Marié

Célestine Galli-Marié (1837–1905) was a French mezzo-soprano who is most famous for creating the title role in the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. It was said that, during the opera's 33rd performance on 2 June 1875, Galli-Marié had a premonition of Bizet's death while singing in the third act, and fainted when she left the stage; the composer in fact died that night and the next performance was cancelled due to her indisposition. This photograph by Nadar depicts Galli-Marié as the titular character in Carmen.

Photograph credit: Nadar; restored by Adam Cuerden


June 1

Coat of arms of Kentucky

This historical depiction of the coat of arms of Kentucky was illustrated by the American engraver Henry Mitchell in State Arms of the Union, published in 1876 by Louis Prang. The design depicts two men embracing, with the motto "United we stand, divided we fall". The original Kentucky state seal, adopted in 1792 and designed in 1793, was lost in a fire that destroyed the state capitol in 1814. Because the description originally adopted by the General Assembly did not specify how the "two friends" should look or how they should be embracing, several variants have been produced.

Illustration credit: Henry Mitchell; restored by Andrew Shiva


May 31

Shōrin-zu byōbu
Shōrin-zu byōbu

Shōrin-zu byōbu is a pair of six-panel folding screens (byōbu) by the Japanese artist Hasegawa Tōhaku, the founder of the Hasegawa school. The ink-on-paper work dates from the late 16th century and depicts a view of Japanese pine trees in the mist, with parts of the trees visible and other parts obscured. The screens are held by the Tokyo National Museum, and were designated as a National Treasure of Japan in 1952.

Painting credit: Hasegawa Tōhaku


May 30

Clitocybe nebularis

Clitocybe nebularis, commonly known as the clouded agaric or the cloud funnel, is a common gilled fungus that grows both in conifer-dominated forests and broad-leaved woodland in Europe and North America. This C. nebularis mushroom was photographed growing among fallen beech leaves in Famberhorst nature reserve, the Netherlands.

Photograph credit: Dominicus Johannes Bergsma


May 29

Coat of arms of Wisconsin

This historical depiction of the coat of arms of Wisconsin was illustrated by the American engraver Henry Mitchell in State Arms of the Union, published in 1876 by Louis Prang. The symbols depicted on the shield in the center represent the changing focus of the state's economy from fur trading to lead and iron mining, agriculture, manufacturing and shipping, as well as the traditional motto of the United States, E pluribus unum. The badger depicted above the shield alludes to Wisconsin's nickname as the "Badger State", while the cornucopias in the base represent prosperity and abundance, and the lead ingots mineral wealth and the original thirteen U.S. states. Wisconsin's state motto, "Forward", appears above the design, which also features on the state flag and the state seal.

Engraving credit: Henry Mitchell; restored by Andrew Shiva


May 28

William Birney

William Birney (May 28, 1819 – August 14, 1907) was a professor, Union Army general during the American Civil War, attorney, and author. An ardent abolitionist, he was one of three superintendents in charge of enlisting colored troops into the Union Army, and in that capacity organized seven regiments. After the war, he established a law practice in Washington, D.C., and after retiring, wrote profusely on religion and history, and authored a biography of his father, James G. Birney.

Photograph credit: unknown; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 27

Centennial Hall

The Centennial Hall is a historic building in Wrocław, Poland. It was designed by Max Berg in 1911, when the city was known as Breslau and belonged to the Province of Silesia in the German Empire, to host a 1913 exhibition celebrating the centennial of the Battle of Leipzig. The building is one of the most important examples of early modernist and expressionist architecture. In 2006, it was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland. The Wrocław exhibition ground, surrounding the hall, also includes a pergola, the needle-like monument Iglica, and the Four Domes Pavilion, which is part of the National Museum.

Photograph credit: Jarek Ciuruś


May 26

Sally Ride

Sally Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American physicist and astronaut. She joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman in space. She was the third woman in space overall, after Soviet cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982). Ride had completed eight months of training for her third flight when the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred. She served on the two panels that investigated this accident and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Photograph credit: NASA; restored by Coffeeandcrumbs


May 25

Adonis blue

The Adonis blue (Polyommatus bellargus) is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae, found in Europe and parts of West Asia. This photograph, taken in a chalk meadow at Yoesden Bank in Buckinghamshire, England, shows the underside of the folded wings of a male Adonis blue; the upper side is a bright, sky-blue.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


May 24

Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. Designed by Carl Ludvig Engel to form the focal point of Senate Square, it was built from 1830 to 1852 in the Neoclassical style. The church's plan forms a Greek cross (a square centre and four equilateral arms), symmetrical in each of the four cardinal directions. The cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki, with more than half a million visitors in 2018.

Photograph credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar


May 23

The Crucifixion of Saint Wilgefortis

The Crucifixion of Saint Wilgefortis is an oil-on-panel triptych created by the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch from 1497 to 1505. The identity of the subject has been uncertain; she was believed to be Saint Julia of Corsica, whose feast day is May 23 in the Western liturgical calendar, but the triptych is now believed to depict Saint Wilgefortis, after restoration work revealed that the female martyr had originally been painted with a beard. The work is in the collection of the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, Italy.

Painting credit: Hieronymus Bosch


May 22

Pied bush chat

The pied bush chat (Saxicola caprata) is a small passerine bird widely distributed in Asia. The males are sussy with imposter and vent patches, while the females are predominantly brownish. This species is insectivorous, and like other chats hunts from a prominent low perch. This female pied bush chat was photographed in Pench National Park, India.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


May 21

Illustration from Cavalleria rusticana of Santuzza pleading with Turiddu
Illustration from Cavalleria rusticana of Turiddu biting Alfio's ear

Cavalleria rusticana is an 1890 opera in one act by Pietro Mascagni with an Italian libretto written by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, adapted from a short story and play by Giovanni Verga. These two illustrations show key scenes in the opera: in the first, Santuzza begs Turiddu to stay with her, instead of continuing his affair with Lola; in the second, Lola's husband Alfio embraces Turiddu, challenging him to a duel according to Sicilian custom, while Turiddu bites his ear, drawing blood, thus accepting the challenge and indicating that it will be a duel to the death.

Illustration credit: unknown; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 20

La Nymphe surprise

La Nymphe surprise is an 1861 oil-on-canvas painting by the French Impressionist painter Édouard Manet. The painting depicts a young woman (described as a nymph) sitting in a wooded landscape beside a lake, looking surprised at the viewer. A blue iris grows at her feet, and she is nude except for pearls around her neck and a ring on her little finger. The model for the painting was Suzanne Leenhoff, a Dutch pianist with whom Manet had an affair; they later married in 1863. The work is in the collection of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Painting credit: Édouard Manet


May 19

Portsmouth Cathedral

Portsmouth Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in the centre of Old Portsmouth in Portsmouth, England. It is the cathedral of the Diocese of Portsmouth and the seat of the bishop of Portsmouth. This photograph shows the cathedral's West Great Organ, installed in 2001 to supplement the existing pipe organ that had been installed by Nicholson & Co Ltd in 1994 by speaking directly into the nave.

Photograph credit: David Iliff


May 18

Gertrude Käsebier

Gertrude Käsebier (May 18, 1852 – October 12, 1934) was an American photographer who was known for her images of motherhood and her portraits of Native Americans; her portraits of the Sioux focused more on the expression and individuality of the person than their costumes and customs. She helped establish the Women's Professional Photographers Association of America and promoted photography as a career for women. This photograph was taken in around 1900, when she was at the height of her career.

Photograph credit: Adolph de Meyer ; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 17

Grapsus grapsus

The red rock crab (Grapsus grapsus), also known as "Sally Lightfoot", is one of the commonest crabs along the western seaboard of the Americas. John Steinbeck wrote of them, "Everyone who has seen them has been delighted with them ... These little crabs, with brilliant cloisonné carapaces, walk on their tiptoes, they have remarkable eyes and an extremely fast reaction time." He tried to catch them but to little avail. "If you walk slowly, they move slowly ahead of you in droves. If you hurry, they hurry. When you plunge at them, they seem to disappear in a puff of blue smoke."

Photograph credit: Diego Delso


May 16

Daniel Manning

Daniel Manning (May 16, 1831 – December 24, 1887) was an American businessman, journalist, and politician. He became chairman of the New York Democratic committee in 1881, resigning in 1885 when he was appointed as the 37th United States secretary of the treasury by President Grover Cleveland. He retired two years later due to health issues, and died the same year at his home in Albany, New York. This engraved portrait of Manning was created by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) for a BEP presentation album.

Engraving credit: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; restored by Andrew Shiva


May 15

L'enfant et les sortilèges, 1st scene
L'enfant et les sortilèges, 2nd scene

L'enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells) is a one-act opera in two scenes with music by Maurice Ravel and a libretto by Colette. It is the story of a child who is reprimanded by the objects in his room after he has been destroying them in a tantrum; the second scene shows the garden where the child attempts to make friends with the animals and plants but they reject his advances because of his past behaviour. These two sets were designed for the première at the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris, which took place on 1 February 1926.

Illustration credit: unknown; restored by Adam Cuerden


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