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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


January 9

Coat of arms of Connecticut

This historical depiction of the coat of arms of Connecticut was illustrated by the American engraver Henry Mitchell in State Arms of the Union, published in 1876 by Louis Prang. The three grape vines on the shield may represent either the early towns of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield, or the three original colonies. An 1889 article by the state librarian stated: "The vines symbolize the Colony brought over and planted here in the wilderness. We read in the 80th Psalm: 'Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: Thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it' ... and the motto expresses our belief that He who brought over the vine continues to take care of it – Qui transtulit sustinet."

Illustration credit: Henry Mitchell; restored by Andrew Shiva


January 8

Dallol

Dallol is a cinder-cone volcano in the Danakil Depression, northeast of the Erta Ale Range in Ethiopia. The area lies up to 120 m (390 ft) below sea level, and has been repeatedly flooded in the past when waters from the Red Sea have inundated it. The Danakil Depression is one of the hottest places on Earth, and the evaporation of seawater after these flooding episodes produced thick deposits of salt, as seen in this landscape. The deposits at Dallol include significant quantities of the carbonate, sulfate and chloride salts of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Hot springs discharge brine to form the blueish ponds, and small, temporary geysers produce cones of salt.

Photograph credit: Alexander Savin


January 7

Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the 13th president of the United States, succeeding to the presidency in July 1850 upon the death of the incumbent Zachary Taylor. Born into poverty with little formal education, he became a successful attorney and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1832. Never an advocate of slavery, he felt duty-bound as president to support the Compromise of 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states. He sought election to a full term in 1852, but was passed over by the Whigs in favor of Winfield Scott. This line engraving of Fillmore was 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 26 presidents.

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


January 6

The Adoration of the Kings

The Adoration of the Kings is an oil-on-panel painting depicting the scene of the Magi adoring the infant Jesus at the stable in Bethlehem, as related in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. It was painted by the Netherlandish Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1564, and is now in the National Gallery, London. The painting treats the biblical episode in an unconventional manner; the onlookers are crowded around the mother and child, with everyone warmly clad except for Jesus himself. The Magi are depicted richly dressed but somewhat dishevelled, the soldiers are menacing, and the onlookers appear bewildered. The figures are slightly elongated, their faces caricatured or even grotesque, while Mary is shown natural and unidealised.

Painting credit: Pieter Bruegel the Elder


January 5

Shah Jahan

Shah Jahan (5 January 1592 – 22 January 1666) was the fifth Mughal emperor, reigning from 1628 to 1658. Under his rule, the Mughal Empire reached the peak of its cultural glory. He commissioned many monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal in Agra, in which his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, is entombed. This rosette, or shamsa (sunburst), executed in ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper, forms the frontispiece to the Kevorkian Album, a muraqqa compiled by Shah Jahan, and bears his names and titles. The Arabic tughra inscription in the center translates to: "His Majesty Shihab ud-Din Muhammad Shah Jahan, the King, Warrior of the Faith, may God perpetuate his dominion and sovereignty".

Illustration credit: unknown


January 4

Yellow-faced honeyeater

The yellow-faced honeyeater (Caligavis chrysops) is a small-to-medium-sized bird in the honeyeater family, Meliphagidae, native to southeastern Australia. Its typical habitat is open sclerophyll forests, as well as woodland, riparian corridors, parks, orchards and gardens. Although some populations are resident, others migrate, using geomagnetic fields to navigate. Comparatively short-billed for a honeyeater, it has adapted to a mixed diet including nectar, pollen, fruit, seeds, honeydew, and insects. It is considered a pest in some areas because of the damage it does to fruit in orchards and urban gardens. This yellow-faced honeyeater was photographed near Lake Parramatta in New South Wales.

Photograph credit: John Harrison


January 3

Hendrik van de Sande Bakhuyzen

Hendrik van de Sande Bakhuyzen (1795–1860) was a 19th-century Dutch landscape painter and art teacher. He was a prominent contributor to the Romantic period in Dutch art, and his students and children founded the art movement known as the Hague School. He is known for his pastoral scenes (especially paintings of livestock) with detailed landscapes, notably inspired by Golden Age artist Paulus Potter and continuing the Realist tradition of that era. This oil-on-panel self-portrait by Van de Sande Bakhuyzen dates from 1850, and is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Painting credit: Hendrik van de Sande Bakhuyzen

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January 2

Priscilla Horton

Priscilla Horton (2 January 1818 – 18 March 1895), was a popular English singer and actress. She was a favourite of James Planché, Charles Dickens and Madame Vestris, and a mentor to W. S. Gilbert. Horton was known for her agile dancing and clear contralto singing voice. This drawing depicts Horton in the role of Ariel in the final scene of Act 5 of Shakespeare's play The Tempest in 1838. Having married the theatrical manager Thomas German Reed in 1844, the pair presented and performed in "Mr. and Mrs. German Reed's Entertainments", consisting of brief, small-scale, family-friendly comic operas, which served to improve the opinion of theatre amongst the British public (it was widely considered a den of immorality at the time). The first professional production of Arthur Sullivan's comic opera Cox and Box was one of their entertainments.

Drawing credit: Richard James Lane; restored by Adam Cuerden

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January 1

Still life

A still life is a work of art depicting inanimate subject matter, typically either natural things such as flowers, dead animals, food, rocks or shells, or man-made objects. As a genre, still-life painting began with Netherlandish painting in the 16th and 17th centuries. The wealthy Dutch Empire's trade enabled the importation of spices, sugar and exotic fruits into the country, and new ingredients such as dates, rice, cinnamon, ginger, nuts, and saffron became available. This oil-on-panel still life from the 1620s by the Flemish artist Osias Beert is entitled Dishes with Oysters, Fruit, and Wine, and includes a rare early depiction of sugar in art. The painting now hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Painting credit: Osias Beert

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December 31

Fervaal

Fervaal is an opera with a prologue and three acts by the French composer Vincent d'Indy. Fervaal is the son of a Celtic king and is destined to be the last advocate of the old gods. His mission is to save his homeland from invasion and pillage, but in doing so he must renounce love. This illustration, by the Swiss painter Carlos Schwabe, relates to the 10 May 1898 premiere of the opera at the Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris. Here, Fervaal is depicted ascending a mountain while carrying the body of his beloved Guilhen at the end of the opera, as the pagan gods and their worshippers fade out of existence with the dawn of Christianity.

Illustration credit: Carlos Schwabe; restored by Adam Cuerden


December 30

Llama

The llama (Lama glama) is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the pre-Columbian era. A full-grown llama can reach a height of 1.7 to 1.8 metres (5 ft 7 in to 5 ft 11 in) at the top of the head, and can weigh between 130 and 200 kilograms (290 and 440 lb). At birth, a baby llama (known as a cria) can weigh between 9 and 14 kilograms (20 and 31 lb). Llamas typically live for 15 to 25 years, with some individuals surviving 30 years or more. This photograph shows a dam (female llama) and her cria at Laguna Colorada in Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, Bolivia.

Photograph credit: Kallerna


December 29

Wounded Knee Massacre

The Wounded Knee Massacre was a massacre of Lakota people by soldiers of the United States Army that took place near Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890. In what was supposed to be a peaceful transport operation, troops of the 7th Cavalry engaged in battle with a contingent of Miniconjou and Hunkpapa Lakota, resulting in the deaths of more than 250 Lakota men, women and children, and 25 troopers. This photograph, taken three weeks after the massacre, shows Lakota corpses wrapped in blankets; the frozen bodies were subsequently collected and buried in a mass grave on a nearby hill.

Photograph credit: Trager & Kuhn; restored by Lise Broer


December 28

Thomas Ewing

Thomas Ewing (December 28, 1789 – October 26, 1871) was a country lawyer from Ohio who was elected to the United States Senate in 1830 as a Whig. He later served as Secretary of the Treasury and the first Secretary of the Interior. In the latter capacity, he earned the nickname "Butcher Ewing" because he replaced so many officials with political appointees. This line engraving of Ewing was 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


December 27

Adoration of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds is a theme in depictions of the Nativity in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus; the scene is based on the biblical account in Luke 2 and has inspired many artists over the years. The nativity scene typically shows shepherds and animals in the stable at Bethlehem, surrounding Mary and the Christ Child. In this 1662 oil painting of the Adoration by the Dutch Golden Age painter Gerard van Honthorst, Jesus is the centre of attention; the infant seems to glow, illuminating the surrounding figures. The work is in the collection of the Pomeranian State Museum in Germany.

Painting credit: Gerard van Honthorst


December 26

Arg-e Bam

The Arg-e Bam, in Kerman Province in southeastern Iran, is the largest adobe building in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient citadel has a history dating back around two thousand years, to the Parthian Empire (248 BC – 224 AD), but most of its buildings were constructed during the Safavid dynasty. A strong earthquake on 26 December 2003 largely devastated the fortress and the nearby modern city of Bam. The Arg-e Bam, including the governor's residence, the main tower, the Four Seasons Palace and the hammam, were nearly totally destroyed; this photograph from 2016 shows the citadel partially reconstructed.

Photograph credit: Diego Delso


December 25

Pope Pius VI

Pope Pius VI (25 December 1717 – 29 August 1799) was the head of the Roman Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 February 1775 until his death in 1799. He condemned the French Revolution and the resulting suppression of the Catholic Church in France. In 1796, French troops commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the papal troops and occupied the Papal States. Refusing to renounce his temporal power, Pius was taken prisoner and transported to France. He died in exile six weeks later in Valence, having reigned for longer than any previous pope. This 1775 oil-on-panel portrait of Pius VI by the Italian painter Pompeo Batoni is in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Painting credit: Pompeo Batoni


December 24

Ambrosius Bosschaert

Ambrosius Bosschaert (1573–1621) was a Flemish-born Dutch still-life painter and art dealer. A rising interest in botany and a passion for flowers led to an increase in still-life paintings of flowers at the end of the 1500s in the Netherlands and Germany, and Bosschaert was the first great Dutch specialist in the genre. In this oil-on-copper painting, butterflies, a dragonfly, a bumblebee and a caterpillar are nestled among roses, forget-me-nots, lilies-of-the-valley, tulips and other flowers. The painting is in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California.

Painting credit: Ambrosius Bosschaert


December 23

Krestovsky Stadium

The Krestovsky Stadium is the home ground of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. Photographed here in 2016, when construction was nearing completion, it is situated on Krestovsky Island in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. It was opened in 2017 as a venue for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and hosted the final, in which Germany beat Chile 1–0. It was one of the venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup the following year. Among other features, it has a retractable roof, and is equipped with a video-surveillance and identification system, as well as security-alarm, fire-alarm and robotic fire-extinguishing systems. The stadium's seating capacity is 67,800.

Photograph credit: Andrew Shiva


December 22

Haydée

Haydée is an opéra comique by the French composer Daniel Auber, first performed by the Théâtre Royal de l'Opéra-Comique at the Salle Favart in Paris on 28 December 1847. The libretto, based on a short story by Prosper Mérimée, was written by Eugène Scribe. The plot is set during the 16th-century wars between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire, and involves a naval commander with a guilty secret, his ward, his slave girl, a handsome captain and a villainous spy. After much confusion and intrigue, everything ends happily for the main protagonists. This illustration shows Philippe Chaperon's set design for the second act of a 1891 Opéra-Comique performance of Haydée at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris.

Set design and illustration credit: Philippe Chaperon; restored by Adam Cuerden


December 21

Anne Vallayer-Coster

Anne Vallayer-Coster (21 December 1744 – 28 February 1818) was an 18th-century French painter, best known for her still-life works. When she was 26, she was admitted to the prestigious Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture; Vallayer-Coster was one of only four women to be accepted into the Académie before the French Revolution, in a period when men dominated the profession. By 1780, she had come under the patronage of Marie Antoinette, after which her career flourished. This 1783 oil-on-canvas portrait, showing Vallayer-Coster at work, is by the Swedish painter Alexander Roslin. The painting is in the collection of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.

Painting credit: Alexander Roslin


December 20

Violet-backed starling

The violet-backed starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) is a relatively small species of starling, common in most of sub-Saharan Africa. It is strongly sexually dimorphic, with the male's iridescent violet plumage contrasting with the heavily streaked brown female. A bird of open woodland, clearings and gallery forests, it feeds in the treetops, with its diet including fruits, seeds and insects. It nests in tree cavities, with green leaves and dung having been recorded as nesting materials. The female incubates the clutch of two to four eggs, and the male helps rear the young until they fledge about three weeks after hatching. This male violet-backed starling, of the subspecies C. l. verreauxi, was photographed in Damaraland, Namibia.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp


December 19

NGC 6357

NGC 6357 is a diffuse nebula in the constellation Scorpius. This composite image of the nebula contains X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the ROSAT telescope (purple), infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope (orange), and optical data from the SuperCosmos Sky Survey (blue). Radiation from hot, young stars is energizing the cooler gas in the clouds that surround them. Often known as the Lobster Nebula, the astronomical object has also been termed the Madokami Nebula by fans of the anime Madoka Magica due to its supposed resemblance to the main character. Scientists at the Midcourse Space Experiment prefer the name War and Peace Nebula, because the bright, western part resembles a dove, while the eastern part looks like a skull in infrared images.

Photograph credit: NASA


December 18

English Gothic architecture

English Gothic architecture is an architectural style that flourished in England from the late 12th to the mid-16th century. The style was most prominently used in the construction of cathedrals and churches. The defining features of Gothic architecture are pointed arches, rib vaults, buttresses, and extensive use of stained glass. This photograph shows the Gothic cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral, which have the earliest surviving fan vaults in the country, designed between 1351 and 1377. These cloisters were used as a backdrop in three of the Harry Potter films.

Photograph credit: Christopher J. T. Cherrington


December 17

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning (born December 17, 1987) is an American activist and whistleblower. She is a former United States Army soldier who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses after having disclosed to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents. Manning was released after nearly seven years of confinement, but was further detained in 2019 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. A trans woman, Manning stated in 2013 that she had had a female gender identity since childhood.

Photograph credit: Tim Travers Hawkins


December 16

Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. He was a musical prodigy, making his concert debut at the age of ten, and was still performing nearly seven decades later, giving what he intended to be his farewell concert as a pianist in Paris in 1913. Saint-Saëns's retirement was soon in abeyance as a result of World War I, during which he gave many performances in France and elsewhere, raising money for war charities. In November 1921, he gave a recital before a large invited audience, where it was remarked that his playing was as vivid and precise as ever; but he died unexpectedly of a heart attack the following month while in Algiers. This photograph of Saint-Saëns by Pierre Petit was taken in 1900.

Photograph credit: Pierre Petit; restored by Adam Cuerden


December 15

Haditha Dam

The Haditha Dam is an earth-filled dam in Iraq, holding back the waters of the Euphrates to create Lake Qadisiyah. The area around Haditha is very arid, with a hot desert climate; the annual precipitation is about 127 millimetres (5 in), mainly occurring during the winter. This photograph, taken from the International Space Station in November 2015, shows the reservoir at a low water level, surrounded by an expanse of dry lakebed; the Haditha Dam is visible near the top of the image. Lake Qadisiyah has a maximum water-storage capacity of 8.3 cubic kilometres (2.0 cu mi) and a maximum surface area of 500 square kilometres (190 sq mi). The associated hydroelectric power station is capable of generating 660 megawatts of electricity, and outlets at the foot of the dam can discharge 3,000 cubic metres (110,000 cu ft) of water per second for irrigation.

Photograph credit: NASA, Kjell N. Lindgren


December 14

Charles IV of Spain and His Family

Charles IV of Spain and His Family is a portrait of the royal family of Spain painted by Francisco Goya in 1800 and 1801. King Charles IV, his wife Maria Luisa of Parma, and his children and relatives are dressed in the height of contemporary fashion, lavishly adorned with jewelry and the sashes of the order of Charles III. The artist does not attempt to flatter the family; instead the group portrait is unflinchingly realist, both in detail and tone. The artist, seated at his easel, is visible in the background. The painting is in the collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Painting credit: Francisco Goya

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December 13

1835 gold Indian two-mohur coin, minted in the reign of King William IV
1862 gold Indian one-mohur coin, minted in the reign of Queen Victoria

The mohur is a gold coin that was formerly minted by several governments, including those of British India. It was usually equivalent in value to fifteen silver rupees. Gold mohurs issued by the British East India Company or the Crown are valuable collectors' items, and sell in auctions for high prices. The double mohur (minted between 1835 and 1918), with a value of thirty rupees, is the highest-denomination circulating coin ever issued in India. The 1835 two-mohur coin above was minted in the reign of King William IV, while the 1862 one-mohur coin below was minted in the reign of Queen Victoria; both are now part of the National Numismatic Collection at the National Museum of American History.

Coin design credit: East India Company and the Calcutta Mint; photographed by Andrew Shiva


December 12

Rory Kennedy

Rory Kennedy (born December 12, 1968) is an American documentary filmmaker and the youngest child of U.S. senator Robert Kennedy and Ethel Skakel. Born six months after the assassination of her father, her life has seen many tragedies. As a director and producer, she has made documentary films that center on social issues such as addiction, nuclear radiation, the treatment of prisoners of war, and the politics of the Mexican border fence. Her films have been featured on many TV networks, and her 2014 documentary Last Days in Vietnam was nominated for an Academy Award.

Photograph credit: Lyndie Benson

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December 11

Bernina railway

The Bernina railway is a single-track, metre-gauge railway line forming part of the Rhaetian Railway. It links the spa resort of St. Moritz, in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland, with the town of Tirano, in the Province of Sondrio, Italy. This photograph shows a train near the top of the Bernina Pass at an elevation of more than 2,100 metres (6,900 ft). The two ABe 4/4 multiple units have excess power with only two passenger cars, so some freight is carried along at the rear of the train.

Photograph credit: David Gubler


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