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Smart Picture of the Day June 1–13, 2021

Smart pictures consist of photos, paintings or images selected for their historical, cultural, or artistic merit selected by Wikipedia contributors with informative text linking to articles.

June 13

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

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June 12

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

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June 11

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

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June 10

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

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June 9

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

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June 8

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

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June 7

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

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June 6

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

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June 5

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

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June 4

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

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June 3

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

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June 2

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

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June 1

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

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