Wikipedia:Picture of the day/December 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 December 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/December 2021#1]] for December 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


December 1

Northern royal albatross

The northern royal albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) is a large seabird in the albatross family, Diomedeidae. It nests only on the Chatham Islands, on Enderby Island, and at Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula of New Zealand. It spends the rest of the year away from land, in circumpolar flights over the Southern Ocean, feeding on squid, fish, crustaceans, salps and carrion. The species is listed on the IUCN Red List as endangered, but predators have been eliminated from the islands where it breeds, and conservation efforts have proved successful at the Taiaroa Head colony. This northern royal albatross was photographed off the southeastern coast of Tasmania, Australia.

Photograph credit: John Harrison


December 2

Seal of Indiana

This historical coat of arms of Indiana is an illustration from State Arms of the Union by Henry Mitchell, published by Louis Prang in 1876. The sun rising over the Allegheny Mountains suggests that Indiana has a bright future. The woodsman represents civilization subduing the wilderness, while the American bison represents the wilderness fleeing westward away from the advance of civilization. This design is also used on the state seal, introduced in 1816, the year in which Indiana became a U.S. state.

Illustration credit: Henry Mitchell; restored by Andrew Shiva


December 3

1771 Russian one-ruble coin

The ruble is the name of a currency unit in a number of countries in eastern Europe. This one-ruble coin was issued by the Russian Empire in 1771, during the reign of Catherine the Great. It is made of solid copper, weighing just over 1.022 kg (2.25 lb), and was designed to be kept in the imperial treasury as metallic backing for the country's paper-ruble issue. Marginally larger than a standard hockey puck, it is reportedly the largest copper coin ever issued. The coin now forms part of the National Numismatic Collection at the National Museum of American History.

Coin design credit: Russian Empire; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection


December 4

Malagasy giant chameleon

The Malagasy giant chameleon or Oustalet's chameleon is a large species of chameleon endemic to Madagascar. This male, photographed in the Anja Community Reserve, is catching a grasshopper by projecting its long tongue at tremendous speed to capture prey located some distance away.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp


December 5

James Guthrie

James Guthrie (December 5, 1792 – March 13, 1869) was a Kentucky lawyer, plantation owner, railroad president and Democratic Party politician. His financial acumen was recognized by President Franklin Pierce who appointed him Secretary of the Treasury in 1853. He strongly opposed proposals for Kentucky to secede from the United States and attended the Peace Conference of 1861, siding with the Union during the Civil War. This picture is a line engraving of Guthrie, 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 6

Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis is an Italian silent film directed by Enrico Guazzoni for Cines in 1913, based on the 1896 novel of the same name written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It was one of the first blockbusters in the history of cinema. This poster for Quo Vadis, produced for George Kleine, the U.S. distributor of the film, depicts the Roman emperor Nero playing a lyre while Rome burns in the background, with the caption "Nero sings while Rome burns".

Poster credit: National Printing & Engraving Company; restored by Adam Cuerden


December 7

Cape starling

The Cape starling (Lamprotornis nitens) is a medium-sized passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae, found in southern Africa. It is a gregarious bird and forms large flocks outside the breeding season. It usually feeds on the ground, often foraging alongside other species of starlings. Habituated to humans, its diet includes fruit, insects and nectar. It sometimes feeds on ectoparasites that it picks off the backs of animals or visits bird tables for scraps. This Cape starling, of the subspecies L. n. phoenicopterus, was photographed in Damaraland, Namibia.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


December 8

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (8 December 1832 – 26 April 1910) was a Norwegian writer who received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature "as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit". The first Norwegian Nobel laureate, he was a prolific polemicist and extremely influential in Norwegian public life and Scandinavian cultural debate. Bjørnson is considered to be one of the four great Norwegian writers, alongside Ibsen, Lie, and Kielland, and is also celebrated for his lyrics to the Norwegian national anthem, "Ja, vi elsker dette landet".

Photograph credit: Erwin Raupp; restored by Adam Cuerden


December 9

Attacus taprobanis

Attacus taprobanis is a species of moth in the family Saturniidae native to southern India and Sri Lanka. This adult male, photographed in Kadavoor, Kerala, developed from a larva feeding on a mahogany tree. When ready to pupate, the larva formed a papery cocoon 7.5 cm (3 in) long interwoven with a leaf; before doing this, the larva had attached the leaf to the stem with a silken thread and cut the leaf stalk. The colours of the dying leaf provided camouflage for the pupa, and the adult insect emerged some 24 days later.

Photograph credit: Jeevan Jose


December 10

Ubu Roi

Ubu Roi is a play by the French writer Alfred Jarry, first performed in Paris on December 10, 1896, at the Nouveau-Théâtre. Considered to be a wild, bizarre and comic play, significant for the way it overturns cultural rules, norms and conventions, it is now seen by some to have opened the door for what became known as modernism in the 20th century. This illustration by Jarry was included in the programme for the play's premiere.

Illustration credit: Alfred Jarry; restored by Adam Cuerden


December 11

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Eldridge Street Synagogue is a synagogue and National Historic Landmark in the neighborhood of Chinatown in Manhattan, New York City. Built in 1887, it was one of the first synagogues erected in the United States by Eastern European Jews. The Moorish Revival building has a 70-foot-high (21 m) dome, a barrel-vaulted ceiling, and stained-glass rose windows.

Photograph credit: Rhododendrites


December 12

New Zealand dotterel

The New Zealand dotterel (Charadrius obscurus) is a species of shorebird found only in certain areas of New Zealand. The southern subspecies (C. o. obscurus) is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with only 60 to 80 mature individuals remaining in 2017. This individual, from the more numerous northern subspecies (C. o. aquilonius), was photographed at Point Chevalier, Auckland.

Photograph credit: John Harrison


December 13

Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family, located on an island on the outskirts of Stockholm. The gardens and parks surrounding the castle are one of the main attractions for the tourists who visit the palace each year. This photograph shows a view of the Baroque garden through a window of the palace. Along with the rest of the palace grounds, the garden was neglected during the 19th century, but was restored in the 1950s and 1960s on the initiative of King Gustaf VI Adolf.

Photograph credit: Martin Kraft


December 14

Camp: Notes on Fashion

Camp: Notes on Fashion was the 2019 high fashion art exhibition of the Anna Wintour Costume Center, a wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that houses the collection of the Costume Institute. The exhibition ran from May 8 through September 9, 2019, and was preceded by the annual Costume Institute Gala on May 6. The display for the exhibition included this rainbow cape, created by the British fashion designer Christopher Bailey for the luxury fashion house Burberry.

Fashion design credit: Christopher Bailey; photographed by Rhododendrites


December 15

Kabukichō

Kabukichō is an entertainment and red-light district in the special ward of Shinjuku in Tokyo, Japan. The location of many host and hostess clubs, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, the district is often called the "Sleepless Town", and includes Shinjuku Golden Gai, famous for its plethora of small bars. This photograph depicts the Kabukichō Ichiban-gai gate, with numerous colorful neon street signs visible in the background.

Photograph credit: Basile Morin


December 16

Zinnia elegans

Zinnia elegans, known as the youth-and-age, common zinnia or elegant zinnia, is an annual flowering plant in the daisy family, Asteraceae. It is native to Mexico but grown as an ornamental in many places and naturalised in a number of countries, including scattered locations in South and Central America, the West Indies, the United States, Australia and Italy. This photograph of a Z. elegans bloom in a garden in Bamberg, Germany, was stacked from fifteen separate images.

Photograph credit: Reinhold Möller


December 17

Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright

The Wright brothers – Orville (1871–1948) and Wilbur (1867–1912) – were American aviation pioneers generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world's first successful motor-operated airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft with the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903, 4 mi (6 km) south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The brothers were also the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible. These portrait photographs of Orville (left) and Wilbur (right) were taken by the brothers themselves in 1905.

Photograph credit: Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright; restored by Scewing and Bammesk


December 18

The Contrabandista

The Contrabandista is a two-act comic opera by Arthur Sullivan and F. C. Burnand. It premiered at St. George's Hall in London on 18 December 1867 under the management of Thomas German Reed for a run of 72 performances; this poster was produced to advertise the original production. There were brief revivals in Manchester in 1874 and the United States in 1880. In 1894, it was revised into a new opera, The Chieftain, with a completely different second act. The work was the first of Sullivan's full-length operas to be produced. It was not a great success, with Burnand's libretto coming in for the most criticism, but its music exhibits many of the qualities and techniques that Sullivan would employ in composing his twenty further comic operas, including the famous series of fourteen Gilbert and Sullivan operas produced between 1871 and 1896.

Poster credit: Robert Jacob Hamerton; restored by Adam Cuerden


December 19

Common house gecko

The common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is a species of lizard native to southern and southeastern Asia. The undersides of this mating pair are viewed through the glass of a window. The male has inserted one of his two intromittent organs, the hemipenis, into the cloaca of the female. The adhesive lamellae with setae on the underside of the feet adhere to the glass and allow the reptiles to maintain traction on the smooth surface.

Photograph credit: Basile Morin


December 20

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom for all civil cases, as well as for criminal cases originating in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population. The court is located in the Middlesex Guildhall on Parliament Square, London; this photograph depicts the interior of Court 1, the largest of the three courtrooms in the building.

Photograph credit: David Iliff


December 21

"The Raven"

"The Raven" is a narrative poem by the American writer Edgar Allan Poe. This illustration by Édouard Manet was drawn for a French publication, and depicts the narrator half asleep, poring over ancient books at midnight on a drear winter night. He hears a tapping sound, and on investigation finds a raven at the window, which flies into his room and perches on a bust of Pallas Athena. The narrator asks the bird a series of questions, to which the bird replies only "Nevermore". Eventually, the narrator falls into despair and ends with his final admission that his soul is trapped beneath the raven's shadow and shall be lifted "nevermore". Originally published in 1845, the poem was widely popular and made Poe famous, though it did not bring him much financial success. "The Raven" has influenced many modern works and is referenced throughout popular culture in films, television, books, and music.

Illustration credit: Édouard Manet; restored by Lise Broer


December 22

Scintillant hummingbird

The scintillant hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) is a species of hummingbird endemic to Costa Rica and Panama. With a length of 6.5–8 cm (2.6–3.1 in), including the bill, and a weight of around 2 g (0.071 oz), it is one of the smallest known species of bird, marginally larger than the bee hummingbird. This female scintillant hummingbird was photographed in Panama feeding on a flower in the genus Abutilon.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


December 23

General George Washington Resigning His Commission

General George Washington Resigning His Commission is a large-scale oil-on-canvas painting by the American artist John Trumbull depicting General George Washington's resignation as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783, to the Congress of the Confederation. The painting now hangs in the United States Capitol rotunda. This engraved vignette, produced for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, draws heavily on Trumbull's painting, and was used on the reverse of the 1000-dollar denomination of the first issue of National Bank Notes from 1875.

Engraving credit: Luigi (Louis) Delnoce and Frederick Girsch, after John Trumbull; restored by Andrew Shiva


December 24

Jenny Nyström

Jenny Nyström (1854–1946) was a Swedish painter and illustrator who is mainly known as the creator of the image of the jultomte used on numerous Christmas cards and magazine covers, thus linking the Swedish version of Santa Claus to the gnomes and tomtar of Scandinavian folklore. This illustration for a Christmas card, depicting three jultomte working, was painted by Nyström around 1899.

Illustration credit: Jenny Nyström, restored by Adam Cuerden


December 25

Melun Diptych

The Melun Diptych is a two-panel oil painting by the French court painter Jean Fouquet (c. 1420–1481) created around 1452. The name of the diptych came from its original home in the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame in Melun. The left panel depicts Étienne Chevalier with his patron saint Saint Stephen and the right panel, seen here, depicts the Virgin and Christ child. The Madonna wears a blue dress, white mantle and a jewel-encrusted crown. On her lap sits the Christ child, who is making a pointing gesture at the patron and the saint. The two are surrounded by blue and red cherubim, which greatly contrast with the pale skin of the Virgin and Christ child.

Painting credit: Jean Fouquet


December 26

Santo Stanislao dei Polacchi

Santo Stanislao dei Polacchi is a Catholic church in Rome, Italy, situated on Via delle Botteghe Oscure in the rione of Sant'Angelo. It is the national church of Poland in Rome and is dedicated to Saint Stanislaus of Szczepanów. The ceiling of its single nave is decorated with this painting by Ermenegildo Costantini, entitled The Glory of Saint Stanislaus.

Painting credit: Ermenegildo Costantini; photographed by Livioandronico


December 27

South-western black rhinoceros

The south-western black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis occidentalis) is a subspecies of the black rhinoceros found primarily in Namibia. The chief threat it faces is from illegal poaching for its valuable horn. It is listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The total population is increasing, and numbered 1,920 animals in 2010. This female south-western black rhinoceros was photographed in Etosha National Park, Namibia.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp


December 28

Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat

Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (Temple of the Great Jewelled Reliquary), colloquially referred to as Wat Phra Si or Wat Yai, is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Phitsanulok Province, Thailand. It is located on the east bank of the Nan River, near Naresuan Bridge. The temple is famous for its gilded statue of the Buddha, shown in this photograph. The statue is considered to be one of the most beautiful and classically magnificent figures of the Buddha in Thailand, and worthy of the highest respect among the Thai people.

Photograph credit: Supanut Arunoprayote


December 29

Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes

Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes (29 December 1719 – 13 February 1787), was a French statesman and diplomat. He served as the French foreign minister from 1774 during the reign of Louis XVI, notably during the American Revolutionary War. This oil-on-canvas portrait, by the French painter Antoine de Favray, depicts Vergennes in Turkish attire as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. The painting is in the collection of the Pera Museum in Istanbul.

Painting credit: Antoine de Favray


December 30

Grass snake

The grass snake (Natrix natrix) is a Eurasian non-venomous colubrid snake that grows to around a metre (3 ft) in length. It is often found near water and feeds almost exclusively on amphibians. Its prey, often common frogs or toads, is caught and swallowed whole. While digesting a large meal, the snake does not travel far, preferring to bask in the sun. Two or three significant food items may supply an individual's needs for the whole season, with the snake finding an underground refuge, not subject to freezing, in which to overwinter. This grass snake was photographed near Storkow in Brandenburg, Germany.

Photograph credit: Andreas Eichler


December 31

The Tales of Hoffmann

The Tales of Hoffmann is an opéra fantastique by the French composer Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, the opera's protagonist. It was Offenbach's final work; he died in October 1880, four months before it premiered in Paris. This illustration of the opera's premiere, attributed to Pierre-Auguste Lamy, depicts the Olympia act, based on a portion of Hoffmann's "Der Sandmann".

Illustration credit: Pierre-Auguste Lamy (attributed); restored by Adam Cuerden


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