Wikipedia:Picture of the day/August 2021

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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 August 2021. Individual sections for each day on this page can be linked to with the day number as the anchor name (e.g. [[Wikipedia:Picture of the day/August 2021#1]] for August 1).

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


August 1

Coat of arms of Tennessee

This historical depiction of the coat of arms of Tennessee was illustrated by the American engraver Henry Mitchell in State Arms of the Union, published in 1876 by Louis Prang. The coat of arms includes the Roman numeral "XVI", referring to Tennessee being the 16th state to join the Union. The plough, wheat sheaf, and cotton plant in the top half of the shield illustrate the importance of agriculture to the state's economy, while the flat-bottomed riverboat in the bottom half represents the importance of commerce. This design also appears on the Tennessee state seal.

Illustration credit: Henry Mitchell; restored by Andrew Shiva


August 2

Bertha Lutz

Bertha Lutz (August 2, 1894 – September 16, 1976) was a Brazilian zoologist, politician, and diplomat. She became a leading figure in the Pan-American feminist and human rights movements, and was instrumental in gaining women's suffrage in Brazil. In addition to her political work, she was a naturalist at the National Museum of Brazil, specializing in poison dart frogs. Her collections were destroyed in September 2018, when a fire devastated most of the museum's collections.

Photograph credit: unknown; restored by Adam Cuerden


August 3

Wheat Fields

Wheat Fields is a series of dozens of paintings by the Dutch Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh borne out of his religious studies and sermons, connection to nature, appreciation of manual laborers and desire to provide a means of offering comfort to others. This 1888 work, titled Corn Harvest in Provence, is one of many oil-on-canvas paintings he created that included them. This harvest scene was painted just outside Arles, and exemplifies Van Gogh's use of colour in full brilliance to depict the "burning brightness of the heat wave". The painting is in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Painting credit: Vincent van Gogh


August 4

Brachysomophis cirrocheilos

Brachysomophis cirrocheilos, the stargazer snake eel, is a marine fish belonging to the family Ophichthidae. It is native to shallow tropical and subtropical waters in the western Indo-Pacific region. It hunts at night for crustaceans and small fish, after which it submerges itself into the sediment tail first and remains there all day, with just its eyes and the top of its head projecting, as seen here in Batangas Bay in the Philippines.

Photograph credit: Rickard Zerpe


August 5

Don César de Bazan

Don César de Bazan is an opéra comique in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Adolphe d'Ennery, Dumanoir and Jules Chantepie, based on a play by d'Ennery and Dumanoir first performed in 1844. This in turn drew on the popular character of Don César de Bazan from the 1838 drama Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo, despite having little connection with the plot of Hugo's drama. This poster, engraved by Célestin Nanteuil, advertised the opera's premiere, which took place at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 30 November 1872.

Engraving credit: Célestin Nanteuil; restored by Adam Cuerden


August 6

Jean Augustin Daiwaille

Jean Augustin Daiwaille (6 August 1786 – 11 April 1850) was a Dutch portrait painter. Born in Cologne, he travelled to Amsterdam as a young man, where he studied under Adriaan de Lelie. He was the director of the Rijksakademie from 1820 to 1826, where he was instrumental in obtaining a lithographic press and instructing students in its use and technique. This self-portrait of Daiwaille, executed in pastel on parchment, is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Painting credit: Jean Augustin Daiwaille


August 7

Heinrich C. Berann

Heinrich C. Berann (1915–1999) was an Austrian painter and cartographer. He achieved world fame with his panoramic maps that combined modern cartography with classical painting. Towards the end of his life, he created four panoramic posters of national parks which were published by the U.S. National Park Service. This 1994 panorama shows Denali National Park and Preserve in central Alaska, with Denali, the highest mountain on the continent, and the glaciers on its southern flanks.

Painting credit: Heinrich C. Berann


August 8

Portrait of Wally

Portrait of Wally is a 1912 oil-on-canvas painting by the Austrian artist Egon Schiele, depicting the young model Walburga Neuzil. Although little is known about the subject, she might have been one of his mistresses, and died tragically at a very young age. The painting had been owned by Lea Bondi, a Jewish art dealer who was fleeing the German annexation of Austria and had to sell it in 1939. The work was restituted to the owners only in 2010, it now forms part of the collection of the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

Painting credit: Egon Schiele


August 9

Sapphire-throated hummingbird

The sapphire-throated hummingbird (Chrysuronia coeruleogularis) is a shiny, metallic-green hummingbird found in Panama, Colombia, and Costa Rica. During flight, hummingbirds have one of the highest metabolic rates among small birds and therefore need to eat more than their own weight of nectar each day to avoid starvation; insects and spiders are also consumed for added protein. Males are polygamous, and after mating play no part in nest-building or rearing the young. This male sapphire-throated hummingbird was photographed in the gardens of Biomuseo, a natural-history museum in Panama City designed by Frank Gehry.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


August 10

Engraved portrait of Louis McLane

The Bank War was a political struggle that developed over the issue of rechartering the Second Bank of the United States during the presidency of Andrew Jackson (1829–1837). The affair resulted in the shutdown of the Second Bank and its replacement by state banks. Louis McLane, then Secretary of the Treasury, was a prominent figure during the Bank War. This portrait is a line engraving of McLane, produced around 1902 by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as part of a BEP presentation album of the first 42 secretaries of the treasury.

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


August 11

Oriental hornet

The oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis) is a social insect in the family Vespidae, found in southern Europe, northeastern Africa, and western Asia. This worker, photographed in Sha'ar Poleg Reserve in Israel, is gathering nectar from a sea squill; adults will also feed on honeydew and fruit. They also capture insects such as grasshoppers, flies and honey bees to provide a diet high in protein for the colony's brood.

Photograph credit: Gideon Pisanty


August 12

Salvadoran peso

The Salvadoran peso was the currency of El Salvador between 1877 and 1919. This gold coin with a value of twenty pesos was minted in 1892, the year in which the Salvadoran mint was established and the production of gold and silver coins began in the country. Only 300 such twenty-peso gold coins were ever minted. This coin is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Coin design credit: El Salvador; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection


August 13

Leopard

The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the cat family, Felidae. This photograph shows a leopard devouring an impala in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has a relatively large skull with powerful jaws, a long body and short legs. It can climb trees very skilfully, often rests on tree branches and can descend to the ground head first. An adult leopard is strong enough to drag a carcass heavier than itself up into a tree, where the prey may be eaten straight away or cached to be consumed later.

Photograph credit: Diego Delso


August 14

George Holdich

George Holdich (14 August 1816 – 30 July 1896) was a British organist and organ builder based in London. In 1851, he produced a pipe organ that was exhibited at the Great Exhibition. This photograph shows Holdich's best-known achievement, the new organ for Lichfield Cathedral, installed in 1861. The instrument, which has 52 stops, was the first in England to have a full pedal specification of stops as was customary among organs in continental Europe.

Photograph credit: David Iliff


August 15

Le Juif polonais

Le Juif polonais (The Polish Jew) is an opera in three acts by Camille Erlanger composed to a French libretto by Henri Caïn. This poster, which advertised the opera's 1900 premiere at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, depicts the innkeeper Mathias, on the occasion of his daughter's wedding, remembering the Jew he had murdered fifteen years earlier. In the third act, he dreams that he is being tried for the murder, he confesses to the attack and admits to the disposal of the body, and dies of a heart attack.

Poster credit: Henri C. R. Presseq; restored by Adam Cuerden


August 16

Destruction

Destruction is the fourth in a series of five oil-on-canvas paintings entitled The Course of Empire, created by the American artist Thomas Cole between 1833 and 1836. The series, now in the collection of the New-York Historical Society, depicts the growth and fall of an imaginary city, situated at the lower end of a river valley. In this painting, a fleet of enemy vessels have sailed up the river, bringing warriors who have overthrown the city's defenses and are ransacking the city and killing and raping its inhabitants.

Painting credit: Thomas Cole


August 17

Panther chameleon

The panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) is a species of lizard found in tropical forests in the eastern and northern parts of Madagascar. Like all chameleons, the species exhibits a specialized arrangement of toes in which the digits are fused into a group of two and a group of three. On the forelimbs, there are two toes on the outer side of each foot and three on the inside, with the arrangement reversed on the hind legs. Their specialized feet allow them a tight grip on narrow branches, and their sharp claws give them traction when climbing on bark. This male panther chameleon was photographed on the island of Nosy Be, off the northwestern coast of Madagascar.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


August 18

Plate 2 of Ignace-Gaston Pardies's celestial atlas

Ignace-Gaston Pardies (1636–1673) was a French Catholic priest and scientist. His celestial atlas, entitled Globi coelestis in tabulas planas redacti descriptio, comprised six charts of the night sky and was first published in 1674. The atlas uses a gnomonic projection so that the plates make up a cube of the celestial sphere. The constellation figures are drawn from Uranometria, but were carefully reworked and adapted to a broader view of the sky. This is the second plate from a 1693 edition of Pardies's atlas, featuring constellations including Pegasus and Andromeda, visible in the northern sky.

Map credit: Ignace-Gaston Pardies


August 19

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is an American national park located in southwestern Utah. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. This panoramic view, as seen from Inspiration Point, shows the colorful Claron Formation, from which the park's delicate hoodoos are carved; the sediments were laid down in a system of streams and lakes that existed from 63 to about 40 million years ago (from the Paleocene to the Eocene epochs). The brown, pink and red colors are from hematite, the yellows from limonite, and the purples from pyrolusite.

Photograph credit: Tony Jin


August 20

Christina Nilsson

Christina Nilsson (1843–1921) was a Swedish operatic soprano. After four years' study in Paris, she made her operatic debut in 1864 in the title role of Verdi's La traviata at the Théâtre Lyrique. After this success, she sang at major opera houses in London, New York City, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Brussels and Munich.

Photograph credit: Nadar; restored by Jebulon


August 21

Village weaver

The village weaver (Ploceus cucullatus) is a species of bird in the family Ploceidae, found in much of sub-Saharan Africa. This often abundant species occurs in a wide range of open or semi-open habitats, and frequently forms large, noisy colonies in towns, villages and hotel grounds. This male, of the subspecies P. c. bohndorffi, was photographed building a nest in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Male birds make elaborate nests, each incorporating about 300 strips of palm or grass leaves that they have torn off the plant and transported individually. These are woven together to form roofed, dangling structures with the entrance at the bottom. The only involvement of the female is in the creation of the lining of the egg-laying cup.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


August 22

Emma Smith DeVoe

Emma Smith DeVoe (August 22, 1848 – September 3, 1927) was a leading advocate for women's suffrage in the United States in the early 20th century. She was inspired as a child by hearing a speech by Susan B. Anthony, and became an excellent public speaker over time, being mentored by Anthony herself. After campaigning in South Dakota and successfully obtaining the vote for women in Idaho, the National American Woman Suffrage Association sent her to Kentucky, and she eventually made speeches and organized new suffrage groups in 28 states and territories. Moving to Washington, she was made president of the Washington Equal Suffrage Association; in 1910, the state became the fifth in the country to grant women suffrage.

Photograph credit: James & Bushnell; restored by Adam Cuerden


August 23

Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk

The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk is a semi-retired American single-seat, twin-engine stealth and attack aircraft that was developed by Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works division and operated by the United States Air Force. Its maiden flight took place in 1981, and it was the first operational aircraft to be designed around stealth technology. This F-117 was photographed flying over Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Photograph credit: Aaron Allmon II


August 24

Argiope trifasciata

Argiope trifasciata, the banded garden or banded orb-weaving spider, is a species of arachnid in the family Araneidae. It is native to North and South America but has spread to other parts of the world. This ventral view of a female A. trifasciata shows her in the centre of her web, which can reach a diameter of 60 cm (24 in). The function of the zig-zag web decorations is unclear, but they may serve to make the spider appear larger or to act as a warning sign.

Photograph credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar


August 25

The Fiancée of Belus

The Fiancée of Belus is a large narrative painting by the French artist Henri-Paul Motte based on a fanciful Babylonian ritual associated with the deity Belus (Bel). According to that ritual, the deity was offered a girl who sat on the lap of Bel's statue overnight, to be replaced the following day by another. All the girls were said to have been winners of daily beauty contests. For the interior of the Babylonian temple, Motte copied the Greek temple in Olympia, while the sculpture is inspired by the Assyrian deity Lamassu. The painting is in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay.

Painting credit: Henri-Paul Motte


August 26

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf is an area of London on the Isle of Dogs. It is defined by the Greater London Authority as being part of London's central business district, alongside Central London. Along with the City of London, Canary Wharf is one of the main financial centres of the United Kingdom and the world, containing many high-rise buildings including the fourth-tallest in the UK, One Canada Square, which opened on 26 August 1991.

Photograph credit: Tony Jin


August 27

The Guilty Mother

The Guilty Mother is the third play of the Figaro trilogy by Pierre Beaumarchais, following The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. Like its predecessors, it has been turned into operatic form, but unlike them, has failed to enter the general opera repertoire. This 1876 illustration by Émile Bayard shows one of the main characters, the Irishman Bégearss, a major in the Spanish military, and a great schemer and stirrer-up of trouble.

Illustration credit: Émile Bayard; restored by Adam Cuerden


August 28

Campbell albatross

The Campbell albatross (Thalassarche impavida) is a medium-sized mollymawk in the albatross family, Diomedeidae. It breeds only on Campbell Island / Motu Ihupuku and the associated islet of Jeanette Marie, in an uninhabited subantarctic island group of New Zealand located in the South Pacific. Because of its restricted breeding range, the bird is considered to be a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The greatest threat it faces is from the fishing industry. This Campbell albatross in flight was photographed off the south-eastern coast of Tasmania, Australia.

Photograph credit: John Harrison


August 29

Averbode Abbey

Averbode Abbey is a Premonstratensian abbey in Averbode, in the municipality of Scherpenheuvel-Zichem, Belgium. The abbey was founded about 1134, suppressed in 1797, and re-established in 1834. The church is a synthesis of Baroque and Gothic architecture, with Renaissance ornamental details, and dominates the monastery complex; it was built between 1664 and 1672, to a design by the Antwerp architect Jan Van den Eynde II. This view of the church's interior shows the chancel, with the choir in the foreground and the sanctuary in the background.

Photograph credit: Marc Ryckaert


August 30

Albury railway station

Albury railway station is a heritage-listed railway station at Railway Place in Albury, New South Wales, adjacent to the border with the state of Victoria, in Australia. The buildings were erected in 1880 and 1881, at a time when increasing wool trade from the Riverina region was driving expansion of the railway network. The station was the terminus for the Main Southern Railway until 1962. The yard was designed to facilitate the interchange of goods and passenger traffic arriving on tracks of different gauges and remains as an operational railway yard and passenger station. To accommodate the break of gauge, a very long railway platform was built, the covered platform being one of the longest in Australia.

Photograph credit: David Gubler


August 31

Marino Faliero

Marino Faliero is a tragic opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Giovanni Emanuele Bidera, who was inspired by a drama by Lord Byron, based on the life of Marino Faliero, a 14th-century doge of Venice. This lithograph shows the set design for the second act of the opera's premiere, which took place in Paris on 12 March 1835.

Illustration credit: Luigi Verardi, after Domenico Ferri; restored by Adam Cuerden


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