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Wikipedia:Picture of the day/July 2018

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A monthly archive of the English Wikipedia's pictures of the day

These featured pictures have previously appeared (or will appear) as picture of the day (POTD) on the Main Page, as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating picture of the day to your userpage or talk 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

July 1
George Sand

George Sand (1804–1876) was a French novelist and memoirist who penned such books as Un hiver à Majorque (1842), La Mare au Diable (1846), and La Petite Fadette (1849). Known as an ardent supporter of the poor and working class, as well as women's rights, she caused controversy in French high society for wearing men's clothing and smoking in public. She was also known for her much publicized romantic affairs with a number of artists, including the composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin.

Photograph: Nadar

July 2
Christoph Willibald Gluck

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714–1787) was a composer of Italian and French opera in the early classical period. Rising to prominence at the Habsburg court in Vienna, he challenged the dominant Metastasian opera seria by introducing more drama and cutting the da capo aria with a series of works in the 1760s, among them Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste. After moving to Paris in 1773, he fused the Italian and French traditions in eight operas. Of these, Iphigénie en Tauride is generally acknowledged as his finest work.

Painting: Joseph Siffred Duplessis

July 3
Väike-Maarja Church

Väike-Maarja Church is located at Väike-Maarja in Lääne-Viru County, Estonia. Initially designed as a fortress church, construction began in the 14th century. It has three nave-halls in Gothic style, as well as an organ installed by Gustav Normann and stained-glass windows by Riho Hütt. The original spire collapsed in a 2010 storm, being replaced in 2012.

Photograph: Ivar Leidus

July 4
Four-spotted chaser

A female four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata), also known as the four-spotted skimmer. A dragonfly of the family Libellulidae, it is found widely throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. It was voted the official state insect of Alaska in 1995.

Photograph: Charles J. Sharp

July 5
The Courtyard of a House in Delft

The Courtyard of a House in Delft is an oil painting on canvas completed by Pieter de Hooch in 1658. An example of Dutch Golden Age painting, it offers a clear and direct depiction of domestic architecture typical of the artist's middle period, using a composition similar to his Courtyard with an Arbour. It is now held by the National Gallery in London.

Painting: Pieter de Hooch

July 6
Free Speech Flag

The Free Speech Flag is a flag designed by John Marcotte to symbolize personal liberty and promote freedom of speech. The flag and its colors correspond to a cryptographic key that enabled users to copy HD DVDs and Blu-rays. It was created in 2007, during a controversy in which the Motion Picture Association of America and Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator began issuing cease and desist letters to websites publishing the key. Works inspired by the flag include an audio version, as well as a flag representing the private key for the PlayStation 3.

Flag: John Marcotte

July 7
"Family Ruble"

The "Family Ruble", a coin issued by the Russian Empire in 1836 and denominated both as 1½ rubles and as 10 złoty. It depicts Tsar Nicholas I on the obverse and his family on the reverse: Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (center), surrounded by Alexander II as Tsarevich, Maria, Olga, Nicholas, Michael, Konstantin, and Alexandra.

Coin: Russian Empire (image courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History)

July 8
MS Birka Stockholm

MS Birka Stockholm is a cruise ship owned by Birka Line, operated under their Birka Cruises brand. She was built in 2004 by Aker Finnyards at Rauma, Finland. She has a capacity of 1,800 passengers, and sails the Baltic Sea during the summer months.

Photograph: Arild Vågen

July 9
The Punishment of Lust

The Punishment of Lust is an 1891 oil painting on canvas by the artist Giovanni Segantini. An early entry in a thematic series on cattive madri (bad mothers) produced between 1891 and 1896, it depicts women being punished for preferring a life of ease over a life of duty by being suspended in limbo among the barren landscape of the Alps. These women are suggested to have aborted or lost their children, and although the artist would have perceived this as a cardinal sin, there is a hint that they may be redeemed. The work was purchased by the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England, in 1893; it remains there today.

Painting: Giovanni Segantini

July 10
Piazzetta San Marco

A view of the Piazzetta San Marco, toward the Grand Canal of Venice, at dawn. The Doge's Palace is on the left, with the Biblioteca Marciana on the right. The two columns are dedicated to the patron saints of Venice: Mark and Theodore.

Photograph: Benh Lieu Song

July 11
John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) was an American statesman who served as a diplomat, minister and ambassador to foreign nations, and treaty negotiator, United States Senator, Congressman from Massachusetts, and the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. Involved in negotiating the treaties of Ghent, 1818, and Adams–Onís, Adams has been called one of the United States' greatest diplomats and secretaries of state. As president, he sought to modernize the American economy and promote education, paying off much of the national debt despite being stymied by a Congress controlled by opponents and lacking patronage networks. Historians have generally ranked him as an above-average president.

Engraving: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; restoration: Andrew Shiva

July 12
Echinocereus reichenbachii

Echinocereus reichenbachii is a perennial plant and shrub in the cactus family. The species is native to the Chihuahuan Desert and parts of northern Mexico and the southern United States, where it grows at elevations up to 1,500 meters (4,900 ft). One of the smaller Echinocereus species, it reaches 7.5 to 30 centimetres (3.0 to 11.8 in) tall and 4 to 10 centimetres (1.6 to 3.9 in) wide. E. reichenbachii is cold and heat tolerant, and prefers dry, well-drained soils near rock outcroppings.

Photograph: Rationalobserver

July 13
Louis Guéymard as Robert the Devil

Portrait of French actor Louis Guéymard in the title role of Giacomo Meyerbeer's Robert le diable, in the last scene of Act 1 in which Robert gambles with dice, loses his entire estate, and sings the aria "L’or est une chimère" (Gold is an illusion). Loosely based on a medieval legend, this opera in five acts tells of a young man who turns to sorcery to stop his beloved from marrying the Prince of Granada. Robert le diable was first performed in 1831 and remained a favourite in opera houses throughout the nineteenth century; this painting, for instance, is based on an 1857 performance. In recent years, the opera has seen a revival.

Painting: Gustave Courbet (courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

July 14

Pluto is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond Neptune. Discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, Pluto was originally considered to be the ninth planet from the Sun. Following the discovery of several objects of similar size in the Kuiper belt, its status as a planet was questioned, and in 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) gave a definition of the term "planet" that excluded Pluto. The largest and second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System, Pluto is primarily made of ice and rock. It is relatively small, with a moderately eccentric and inclined orbit.

This photograph of Pluto is a composite of four near-true color images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. The most prominent feature in the image, the bright, youthful, nitrogen ice plains of Sputnik Planitia, the left lobe of heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio, is at right center. This contrasts with the darker, more cratered terrain of Cthulhu Macula at lower left.

Photograph: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute

July 15
Nephila pilipes

A dorsal view of a female Nephila pilipes, a species of golden silk orb-weaver spider found in East and Southeast Asia as well as Australia. Commonly found in primary and secondary forests, as well as gardens, this species spins an asymmetrical golden web that is vertical with a fine irregular mesh, with the hub usually nearer the top. Considerable sexual dimorphism is demonstrated in the size of specimens, with females averaging a body size of 30–50 millimetres (1.2–2.0 in) and males growing to 5–6 millimetres (0.20–0.24 in).

Photograph: Chris Woodrich

July 16
Semi-trailer truck

A diagram showing a side and underside view of an 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck with an enclosed cargo space. The underside view shows the arrangement of the wheels, and in blue, the axles, drive shaft, and differentials.

The numbered parts are:

  1. tractor unit
  2. semi-trailer (detachable)
  3. engine compartment
  4. cabin
  5. sleeper (not present in all trucks)
  6. air dam
  7. fuel tanks
  8. fifth-wheel coupling
  9. enclosed cargo space
  10. landing gear (legs for when semi-trailer is detached)
  11. tandem axles

Diagram: H Padleckas and Ju gatsu mikka

July 17
Young Man with a Skull

Young Man with a Skull is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, completed in 1626 and now in the National Gallery, London. Once considered a depiction of Hamlet holding the skull of Yorick, the painting shows a young man in a feathered bonnet gesturing and holding a skull. It was first documented by Cornelis Hofstede de Groot in 1910, and identified as one of Hals' works owing to the painting's similarity to other works by the artist.

Painting: Frans Hals

July 18
Saint-Jacques Tower

Saint-Jacques Tower is a monument located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, France, on Rue de Rivoli at Rue Nicolas Flamel. This 52-metre (171 ft) Flamboyant Gothic tower is all that remains of the former 16th-century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie, which was demolished in 1797 during the French Revolution. It is considered a national historic landmark.

Photograph: Benh Lieu Song

July 19
Indian Head eagle

The Indian Head eagle was a ten-dollar gold piece, or eagle, struck by the United States Mint from 1907 until 1933. The obverse and the reverse, designed by the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, were originally commissioned for use on other denominations. As sculpted by Saint-Gaudens, it was in too high relief for the Mint to strike readily, and the necessary modifications took months. The omission of the motto "In God We Trust" on the new coins caused public outrage, and prompted Congress to pass a bill mandating the motto's inclusion. Later editions of the coin included the motto.

Shown here is a coin struck in 1907, omitting the motto. See the version with the motto.

Photograph: National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History

July 20

A newsreel depicting the first successful underwater launch of the UGM-27 Polaris on July 20, 1960. This two-stage submarine-launched ballistic missile began development in 1956 and was meant to provide second strike capabilities. After several successful test firings on land, the missile was scheduled for an underwater test, being loaded onto USS George Washington at Cape Canaveral before being fired from the Atlantic Missile Test Range at a target 1,100 miles (1,800 km) away.

Film: Universal International Newsreel

July 21
Le Grand Canal

Le Grand Canal is an oil painting on canvas by the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Part of an en plein air series undertaken during 1908, it depicts a classic view of the Grand Canal in Venice, as seen from the Palazzo Barbaro. The work is now held by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Painting: Claude Monet

July 22
Nacunda nighthawk

The nacunda nighthawk (Chordeiles nacunda) is a species in the nightjar family. It is endemic to South America, living in dry savanna, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, and heavily degraded former forest. It is among the largest nightjars in the world, with a length of 27.5 to 32 cm (10.8 to 12.6 in).

Photograph: Andreas Trepte

July 23
Pahit-Pahit Manis

A promotional flyer for the 1952 Indonesian film Pahit-Pahit Manis ("Bitter Sweet"). This romantic comedy, starring Titien Sumarni, Chatir Harro, Turino Djunaedy, and S. Poniman, follows a man named Ariffien as he attempts to woo his boss' daughter but falls for another woman. It was the last production of Banteng Film.

Flyer: Banteng Film; restoration: Chris Woodrich

July 24

An Indian merchant holding green chickpeas (Cicer arietinum). One of the earliest cultivated legumes, chickpeas are ingredients in a number of dishes around the world. India is the largest producer of this nutrient-dense food, accounting for 64% of global production in 2016.

Photograph: Jorge Royan

July 25

Eruptions at Mount Etna, a volcano in Sicily, on the night of 16–17 November 2013. This active stratovolcano is the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, covering an area of 1,190 km2 (459 sq mi) and reaching a height of 3,329 m (10,922 ft). One of the world's most active volcanoes, its fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture. Due to its recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.

Video: Boris Behncke

July 26
George Clinton

George Clinton (1739–1812) was an American soldier and statesman, considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served 21 years as Governor of New York (1777–1795 and 1801–1804), the longest by any state's governor until Terry Branstad surpassed his record in 2015. A prominent Democratic-Republican, Clinton was tapped as the party's vice-presidential nominee in the 1804 and 1808 elections. He served as the fourth Vice President of the United States from 1805 until his death in 1812, under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. He and John C. Calhoun have been the only vice presidents to hold office under two different presidents.

Painting: Ezra Ames

July 27
St Stephen's Green

St Stephen's Green is a city centre public park in Dublin, Ireland. The current landscape of the park was designed by William Sheppard. It was officially re-opened to the public in 1880. The park is adjacent to one of Dublin's main shopping streets, Grafton Street, and to a shopping centre named for it, while on its surrounding streets are the offices of a number of public bodies as well as a stop on one of Dublin's Luas tram lines. At 22 acres (89,000 m2), it is the largest of the parks in Dublin's main Georgian garden squares.

Photograph: Dronepicr

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July 28
The Fall of the Titans

The Fall of the Titans is an oil painting completed by the Dutch painter Cornelis van Haarlem in 1588–1590. Based on Greek mythology, it depicts the Titanomachy, a series of battles fought between the Titans and the Olympians. The painting is in the collection of the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen.

Painting: Cornelis van Haarlem

July 29
South-West African mark

The South West African mark was a temporary currency issued in South West Africa between 1916 and 1918 as part of the South West Africa campaign. Issued after the conquest of German South West Africa by South Africa, notes were denominated in marks and pfennig, as with the withdrawn German South West African Mark. Many institutions issued banknotes; this two-mark note was issued by the Swakopmund Bookshop. The South-West African mark was replaced in 1918 by the South African pound.

Banknote: Swakopmund Bookshop (courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History)

July 30
Battle of Vercellae

The Battle of Vercellae in 101 BC was the Roman victory of Gaius Marius over the invading Celto-Germanic Cimbri tribe near the settlement of Vercellae in Cisalpine Gaul. Having invaded northern Italy, the Cimbri repeatedly defeated the 20,000 men strong army of Quintus Lutatius Catulus; however, after Marius arrived with 32,000 soldiers to reinforce Catulus, the Romans won a total victory. The Cimbri were virtually wiped out: the Romans claimed to have killed 65,000–160,000 and captured 60,000, including large numbers of women and children.

This painting, completed by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo between 1725 and 1729, is one of the Ca' Dolfin Tiepolos, a series of works depicting Roman battles and triumphs.

Painting: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

July 31

Andromeda is one of the 88 modern constellations. Located north of the celestial equator, it is named for Andromeda, daughter of Cassiopeia, who in Greek mythology was chained to a rock to be eaten by the sea monster Cetus. Most prominent during autumn evenings in the Northern Hemisphere, Andromeda is one of the largest constellations, over 1,400 times the size of the full moon.

Here, Andromeda is shown together with Triangula - a variant of Triangulum using stars too small to feature in this star chart to make a second triangle - and the obsolete constellation Gloria Frederici. This illustration by Sidney Hall was included in Urania's Mirror, a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards first published in 1824.

Illustration: Sidney Hall; restoration: Adam Cuerden

Picture of the day archive

Today is Thursday, November 21, 2019; it is currently 09:42 UTC.