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Smart Picture of the Day April 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.

April 13

Hurdling is the act of running over an obstacle at high speed or in a sprint. It is a highly specialized form of obstacle racing, and forms part of track and field in the sport of athletics. In hurdling events, barriers known as hurdles are set at precisely measured heights and distances. This photograph shows the Austrian athlete Leon Okafor taking part in the men's 110-metre (120 yd) hurdles at the Leichtathletik Gala in Linz in 2018.

Photograph credit: Isiwal

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April 12

The John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, is NASA's primary launch center of human spaceflight. Launch operations for the Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs were carried out here. This photograph shows Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A in the evening before the launch of STS-129, a mission to the International Space Station in November 2009.

Photograph credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls; retouched by Bammesk

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April 11

Wheat Fields is a series of dozens of paintings by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. Ploughed Fields ('The Furrows'), painted in 1888, shows a field after ploughing with the earth lying in rough clods before the wheat has been sown. The picture is in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Painting credit: Vincent van Gogh

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April 10

The red-billed streamertail (Trochilus polytmus) is the most common hummingbird in Jamaica, where it is the national bird. The female, shown here in hovering flight, lacks the red bill and long tail streamers of the male. The species's diet consists of nectar and small insects caught on the wing.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp

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April 9

BASE jumping is the recreational sport of jumping from fixed objects, using a parachute to descend safely to the ground. The acronym stands for four categories of fixed objects from which the jumps can be made: buildings, antennae, spans, and earth (cliffs). In this photograph, a BASE jumper launches himself from the top of the Sapphire Tower in Istanbul, Turkey.

Photograph credit: Kontizas Dimitrios

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April 8

The Hunting of the Snark is a nonsense poem written by English writer Lewis Carroll between 1874 and 1876. The plot follows a crew of ten trying to hunt the Snark, which may turn out to be a highly dangerous Boojum. This original illustration by Henry Holiday accompanies the verse:

    "But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
        If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
    You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
        And never be met with again!"

Illustration credit: Henry Holiday; restored by Adam Cuerden

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April 7

Danaus genutia, the common tiger or striped tiger, is a species of brush-footed butterfly found in Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, south-eastern Asia and Australia. It prefers areas of moderate to heavy rainfall, and typical habitats include scrubby jungle, deciduous forests and fallow land near habitations. The insect sequesters toxins from plants, and advertises its unpalatability by having prominent markings and striking colour patterns. This adult male common tiger, of the subspecies D. g. genutia, was photographed in Kerala, India.

Photograph credit: Charles James Sharp

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April 6

The inauguration of John Tyler as the tenth president of the United States took place on April 6, 1841, in Washington, D.C., following the death of President William Henry Harrison two days earlier. This was the first non-scheduled, extraordinary presidential inauguration to take place in American history. Having received news of Harrison's death, Tyler traveled to Washington from his home in Williamsburg, Virginia by steamboat and train, the fastest means of conveyance then available, taking 21 hours.

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

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April 5

Eunice Pinney (1770–1849) was an American folk artist active in the towns of Windsor and Simsbury, Connecticut. According to art historian Jean Lipman, a specialist in American folk painting, Pinney and her contemporary Mary Ann Willson are considered two of the earliest American painters to work in the medium of watercolor. This painting, entitled Lolotte et Werther, depicts a scene from Goethe's popular novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, and is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Painting credit: Eunice Pinney

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April 4

Étienne Maurice Gérard (4 April 1773 – 17 April 1852) was a French general, statesman and marshal of France. He served under a succession of French governments, including the monarchy of the Ancien Régime, the First Republic, the First Empire, the Bourbon Restoration, the July Monarchy, the Second Republic, and arguably the Second Empire, becoming prime minister briefly in 1834. This 1816 portrait of Gérard by Jacques-Louis David is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Painting credit: Jacques-Louis David

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April 3

The zebra dove (Geopelia striata) is a species of bird in the family Columbidae, native to southeastern Asia. Unlike other doves, zebra doves tend to forage alone or in pairs. Their diet consists mostly of grass and weed seeds, and they will also eat insects and other small invertebrates. They prefer to forage on bare ground, short grass or on roadsides, scurrying about with rodent-like movement. Their grey-and-brown barred plumage camouflages them well when they are on the ground. This zebra dove was photographed in the Chinese Garden in Singapore.

Photograph credit: John Harrison

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April 2

The Entombment is an unfinished oil-on-panel painting of the burial of Jesus, now generally attributed to the Italian painter Michelangelo and dated to around 1500 or 1501. John the Evangelist may be the figure on the left, carrying Christ's body on strips of winding cloth up steps to the tomb, helped by one of the three Marys. The figure behind may be Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus, while another Mary sits on the ground at the bottom left. The unfinished area at bottom right was intended for a kneeling figure of the Virgin Mary. The painting is in the collection of the National Gallery in London.

Painting credit: Michelangelo (attributed)

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April 1

My Wife's Lovers is an 1891 painting by Austrian artist Carl Kahler depicting forty-two Turkish Angora cats belonging to American millionaire Kate Birdsall Johnson. Not having painted cats before, Kahler spent three years studying cat poses and learning their habits. At the center of the painting sits Sultan, bought by Johnson during a trip to Paris. She lent the painting to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and, following her death, it was acquired by Ernest Haquette for his Palace of Art Salon in San Francisco. Kahler died in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the salon where the painting was hung was destroyed, but the picture survived. It was sold at Sotheby's in 2015 to a private buyer from California.

Painting credit: Carl Kahler

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