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These featured pictures have been chosen to appear as picture of the day (POTD) on the English Wikipedia's Main Page, as scheduled below. Individual sections for each day on this page can be linked to with the day number of the month as the anchor name.

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May 1

Marie-Aimée Roger-Miclos

Marie-Aimée Roger-Miclos (1 May 1860 – 19 May 1951) was a French pianist of international acclaim. One reviewer described her as "an artist of interesting and unconventional qualities, possessing a strongly marked sense of rhythm, brilliant and incisive touch, and her playing is marked with certainty, that adds tonal charm to brilliancy". Camille Saint-Saëns and Joseph O'Kelly dedicated piano pieces to her, and she taught piano at the Conservatoire de Paris. Her work lives on in her recordings, which include piano pieces by Frédéric Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn.

This photograph of Roger-Miclos was taken in 1902 by Jean Reutlinger as part of volume 21 of the Album Reutlinger de portraits divers. The Reutlinger studio in Paris specialised in photographic portraits of popular actresses and opera singers, which were either sold to magazines and newspapers or reproduced as postcards.

Photograph credit: Jean Reutlinger; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 2

Christen Dalsgaard

Christen Dalsgaard (1824–1907) was a Danish painter and a late student of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. He primarily painted genre paintings and Romantic nationalist folk scenes rooted in the grasslands of Jutland. Dalsgaard paid great attention to details, such as folk costumes, the manners and habits of the people, the indoor furnishings, the architecture and landscape. His artistic works, as well as those of his contemporaries, opened the way for the more realistic paintings of the late 1800s.

This picture is an oil-on-canvas painting entitled En rekonvalescent ('A convalescent'), created by Dalsgaard in 1870. The painting, which depicts a girl reading, is now part of the Hirschsprung Collection in Copenhagen.

Painting credit: Christen Dalsgaard


May 3

Rufous-headed ground roller

The rufous-headed ground roller (Atelornis crossleyi) is a forest bird endemic to Madagascar. It is a distinctively coloured bird, about 25 cm (10 in) in length. Seen here in Ranomafana National Park, it is a secretive bird that stays deep in the forest, feeding on the ground on ants, cockroaches and beetles. It nests in a burrow in an earth bank. The species is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as near threatened because it is hunted for food although it is present in a number of protected areas, and the forests in which it lives are threatened by slash-and-burn cultivation.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp


May 4

Michael L. Gernhardt

Michael L. Gernhardt (born May 4, 1956) is a NASA astronaut and bioengineer. Before becoming an astronaut, he worked as a professional diver and project engineer on a variety of subsea oil field construction and repair projects. A four-flight veteran, Gernhardt has logged over 43 days in space, including four spacewalks totaling 23 hours and 16 minutes. In October 2011, he participated in the NEEMO 15 mission in the DeepWorker submersible, a small submarine used as an underwater stand-in for the Space Exploration Vehicle, which might someday be used to explore the surface of an asteroid.

This photograph shows Gernhardt attached to the robotic arm of Space Shuttle Endeavour during a spacewalk as part of the STS-69 mission in 1995, with the pale blue Earth serving as a backdrop. Unlike earlier spacewalking astronauts, Gernhardt was able to use an electronic cuff checklist, a prototype developed for the assembly of the International Space Station.

Photograph credit: NASA


May 5

Diego de Guevara

Diego de Guevara (c. 1450 – 1520) was a Spanish courtier and ambassador who served four, and possibly five, successive dukes of Burgundy. He may have started his service when quite young, as a page or valet de chambre, rising through the ranks to become chamberlain by 1501, and mayordomo mayor (high steward) to the king of Spain in 1518.

It is uncertain that this oil-on-panel portrait by Michael Sittow, created around 1515 to 1518, depicts de Guevara. It was once the right-hand portion of a diptych, the left half being a Madonna and Child, now in the Berlin State Museums. The two oak panels have been linked by historical and pictorial details; the ornate carpet covering the stone parapet on which de Guevara's hand rests is identical to the one in the other image. When the two panels of the diptych were attached, de Guevara would have been gazing down at the young child. This painting is now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Painting credit: Michael Sittow


May 6

Chosen at random from a selection of six; all alternatives shown below

Obverse of the one-peso silver certificate
Reverse of the one-peso silver certificate

Silver certificates were issued by the Republic of Cuba between 1934 and 1949. Prior and subsequent issues of Cuban banknotes were engraved and printed by non-governmental private banknote companies in the United States, but the series from 1934 to 1949 was designed, engraved, and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. government.

This is a certified proof of a one-peso silver certificate, prepared in 1936. The obverse depicts Cuban writer José Martí, with the engraved signatures of Ricardo Ponce (Secretary of the Treasury) and José Agripino Barnet (President of the Republic). The reverse, printed in blue, bears the Cuban coat of arms. This proof is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations:

Banknote design credit: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; engraved by William Ford; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Obverse of the five-peso silver certificate
Reverse of the five-peso silver certificate

Silver certificates were issued by the Republic of Cuba between 1934 and 1949. Prior and subsequent issues of Cuban banknotes were engraved and printed by non-governmental private banknote companies in the United States, but the series from 1934 to 1949 was designed, engraved, and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. government.

This is a certified proof of a five-peso silver certificate, prepared in 1936. The obverse depicts Dominican military officer Máximo Gómez, with the engraved signatures of Ricardo Ponce (Secretary of the Treasury) and José Agripino Barnet (President of the Republic). The reverse, printed in orange, bears the Cuban coat of arms. This proof is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations:

Banknote design credit: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; engraved by William Ford; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Obverse of the ten-peso silver certificate
Reverse of the ten-peso silver certificate

Silver certificates were issued by the Republic of Cuba between 1934 and 1949. Prior and subsequent issues of Cuban banknotes were engraved and printed by non-governmental private banknote companies in the United States, but the series from 1934 to 1949 was designed, engraved, and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. government.

This is a certified proof of a ten-peso silver certificate, prepared in 1936. The obverse depicts Cuban president Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada, with the engraved signatures of Ricardo Ponce (Secretary of the Treasury) and José Agripino Barnet (President of the Republic). The reverse, printed in brown, bears the Cuban coat of arms. This proof is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations:

Banknote design credit: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; engraved by Sydney Smith; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Obverse of the twenty-peso silver certificate
Reverse of the twenty-peso silver certificate

Silver certificates were issued by the Republic of Cuba between 1934 and 1949. Prior and subsequent issues of Cuban banknotes were engraved and printed by non-governmental private banknote companies in the United States, but the series from 1934 to 1949 was designed, engraved, and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. government.

This is a certified proof of a twenty-peso silver certificate, prepared in 1936. The obverse depicts Cuban general Antonio Maceo Grajales, with the engraved signatures of Ricardo Ponce (Secretary of the Treasury) and José Agripino Barnet (President of the Republic). The reverse, printed in olive green, bears the Cuban coat of arms. This proof is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations:

Banknote design credit: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; engraved by Elie Loizeaux; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Obverse of the fifty-peso silver certificate
Reverse of the fifty-peso silver certificate

Silver certificates were issued by the Republic of Cuba between 1934 and 1949. Prior and subsequent issues of Cuban banknotes were engraved and printed by non-governmental private banknote companies in the United States, but the series from 1934 to 1949 was designed, engraved, and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. government.

This is a certified proof of a fifty-peso silver certificate, prepared in 1936. The obverse depicts Cuban general Calixto García, with the engraved signatures of Ricardo Ponce (Secretary of the Treasury) and José Agripino Barnet (President of the Republic). The reverse, printed in light orange, bears the Cuban coat of arms. This proof is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations:

Banknote design credit: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; engraved by Leo Kauffmann; photographed by Andrew Shiva

Obverse of the one-hundred-peso silver certificate
Reverse of the one-hundred-peso silver certificate

Silver certificates were issued by the Republic of Cuba between 1934 and 1949. Prior and subsequent issues of Cuban banknotes were engraved and printed by non-governmental private banknote companies in the United States, but the series from 1934 to 1949 was designed, engraved, and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. government.

This is a certified proof of a one-hundred-peso silver certificate, prepared in 1936. The obverse depicts Cuban patriot Francisco Vicente Aguilera, with the engraved signatures of Ricardo Ponce (Secretary of the Treasury) and José Agripino Barnet (President of the Republic). The reverse, printed in purple, bears the Cuban coat of arms, flanked by Havana's El Capitolio on the left and Plaza de la Catedral on the right. This proof is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Other denominations:

Banknote design credit: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; engraved by William Ford; photographed by Andrew Shiva


May 7

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew, commonly known in English as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. The complex consists of a number of buildings within the precincts of the Grand Palace in the historical center of Bangkok. It houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha, which is deeply revered and venerated as the country's palladium.

This photograph, taken from the Outer Court of the Grand Palace, shows the principal buildings of Wat Phra Kaew behind the gallery that encloses the temple area. At the center, from rear to front, are the Royal Pantheon, the library, and the main stupa, which houses relics of the Buddha. To the right is the main building, or Ubosot, which was built to house the Emerald Buddha in 1783.

Photograph credit: Ninaras; edited by TSP


May 8

German Instrument of Surrender

The German Instrument of Surrender was the legal document that effected the termination of the Nazi regime and ended World War II in Europe. A July 1944 draft version had also included the surrender of the German government, but this was changed due to concern that there might be no functional German government that could surrender; instead, the document stated that it could be "superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations", which was done the next month.

This photograph shows Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signing the German Instrument of Surrender in Berlin. The first surrender document was signed on 7 May 1945 in Reims by General Alfred Jodl, but this version was not recognized by the Soviet High Command and a revised version was required. Prepared in three languages on 8 May, it was not ready for signing in Berlin until after midnight; consequently, the physical signing was delayed until nearly 1:00 a.m. on 9 May, and backdated to 8 May to be consistent with the Reims agreement and public announcements of the surrender already made by Western leaders.

Photograph credit: Lt. Moore; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 9

Daurian redstart

The Daurian redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus) is a small passerine bird from temperate Asia. The adult male has a grey crown and nape, a black face and chin, brownish mantle and wings and a large white wing patch; the chest, lower back and rump are orange, and the tail is black with orange sides. The female is brown above and paler brown below, with an orange rump and tail sides, and a large white wing patch similar to the male's. The species grows to a length of about 15 cm (6 in), and breeds in Manchuria, southeastern Russia, northeastern Mongolia, central China and Korea. A common migratory species, it is not considered to be a threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

This picture shows a male Daurian redstart photographed at Daisen Park in Osaka, Japan, in midwinter.

Photograph credit: Laitche


May 10

Medical imaging in pregnancy

Medical imaging in pregnancy may be indicated because of pregnancy complications, intercurrent diseases or routine prenatal care. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without the use of MRI contrast agents is not associated with any risk for the mother or the fetus, a CT scan involves the use of many X-ray measurements taken from different angles to produce a cross-sectional image, and is not risk-free. This volume-rendered CT scan, taken with the use of radiocontrast agents, is of a 30-year-old woman who was involved in a high-speed road traffic accident. She was pregnant at 37 weeks' gestational age, and it was decided that the risk of traumatic injury to the mother or child outweighed the risks of a scan, which showed no traumatic injury.

CT scan credit: Mikael Häggström


May 11

Green Wheat Field with Cypress

Green Wheat Field with Cypress is an oil-on-canvas painting by Dutch Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. It is part of a series of paintings of wheat fields that he painted in 1889 while a voluntary patient in the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. Besides a fondness for cypress trees, Van Gogh had a special affinity with wheat fields, depicting them dozens of times over the years; to him, they symbolized the cycle of life and death, and he found in them both solace and inspiration. This painting is now in the collection of the National Gallery Prague.

Painting credit: Vincent van Gogh


May 12

Jules Massenet

Jules Massenet (12 May 1842 – 13 August 1912) was a French composer of the Romantic era, best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death, he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra comique to grand depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies and lyric dramas, as well as oratorios, cantatas and ballets. Massenet had a good sense of the theatre and of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading opera composer in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the time of his death, he was regarded as old-fashioned; his works, however, began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20th century, and many have since been staged and recorded. This photograph of Massenet was taken by French photographer Eugène Pirou in 1875.

Photograph credit: Eugène Pirou; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 13

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison in Kilmainham, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. Originally built in 1796, there was no segregation of prisoners at first, with men, women and children being incarcerated with up to five in each cell and a single candle for light and heat. In an 1809 report, an inspector observed that male prisoners were supplied with iron bedsteads, while females "lay on straw on the flags in the cells and common halls". Thirty female cells were added in 1840 in an attempt to relieve overcrowding of women prisoners, but shortly thereafter, the prison was overwhelmed by an increase in prisoner numbers resulting from the Great Famine. Kilmainham Gaol was decommissioned by the government of the Irish Free State in 1924, and is now a prison museum run by the Office of Public Works, an agency of the Irish government.

Photograph credit: Colin


May 14

Willem van de Velde the Younger

Dutch Ships in a Calm Sea is an oil-on-canvas painting by Dutch marine artist Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633–1707), dating from about 1665. The son of Willem van de Velde the Elder, who also specialized in marine art, he was first instructed by his father and later by Simon de Vlieger. His brother was Adriaen van de Velde, a landscape and animal painter.

Most of Van de Velde's finest works represent shipping off the coast of Holland. The vessels are painted with intricate detail and almost photographic accuracy, providing a high-quality record of the appearance of shipping of the period. He also excelled in his rendering of the sea and sky under various weather conditions. This painting is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Painting credit: Willem van de Velde the Younger


May 15

Bonaparte Crossing the Alps

Bonaparte Crossing the Alps is an oil-on-canvas painting by French artist Paul Delaroche, completed in 1850. The work depicts Napoleon Bonaparte leading his army through the Alps on a mule, a journey they made during the War of the Second Coalition in the spring of 1800. Napoleon is portrayed as downcast, gaunt and chilled, his expressionless face displaying his weariness resulting from the long, arduous trek. This representation is in marked contrast to Jacques-Louis David's idealistic depiction of the same historical event in Napoleon Crossing the Alps, where the protagonist wears a pristine uniform, rides a fiery steed and is depicted as a hero. This painting is now in the collection of the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England.

Painting credit: Paul Delaroche


May 16

Tephra

Tephra is unconsolidated pyroclastic material produced by a volcanic eruption. The particles are formed by magma and fragments of rock; they vary in size and composition, and form layers of material when they land. On the ground, tephra can be transported by water and in time consolidates to form a soft rock known as tuff.

This picture shows a 6-foot-high (1.8 m) boulder of tephra photographed on the beach near Brown Bluff, a volcano on the Antarctic Peninsula that formed in the past million years when it erupted under a glacier. The larger, dark-coloured particles are fragments of alkali basalt, which are embedded in layers formed from volcanic ash.

Photograph credit: Andrew Shiva


May 17

Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend

Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1674–1738), was an English Whig statesman. He directed British foreign policy for more than a decade in close collaboration with his brother-in-law, Prime Minister Robert Walpole. Often known as "Turnip Townshend" because of his strong interest in farming turnips and his role in the British Agricultural Revolution, he was married twice and had nine sons, one of whom died in infancy, and three daughters.

This picture is an oil-on-canvas portrait of Townshend, depicted in the robes and insignia of the Order of the Garter with a full-bottomed wig. It is attributed to Irish artist Charles Jervas, having been painted around 1724, and is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Painting credit: Charles Jervas (attributed)


May 18

Tree trunk spider

Tree trunk spiders are members of the family Hersiliidae, native to tropical and subtropical parts of the world. Ranging from 10 to 18 mm (0.4 to 0.7 in) in length, they have two prominent spinnerets that are almost as long as their abdomen, earning them another nickname, the "two-tailed spiders".

This picture shows a tree trunk spider of the genus Hersilia, photographed in Kadavoor in the Indian state of Kerala, capturing a cicada. The spider lies in wait on a tree for an insect to land on the trunk. Pouncing on its prey, it uses its spinnerets to wrap it in silk. When the insect is immobilised, the spider bites through the shroud before sucking out the insect's juices.

Photograph credit: Jeevan Jose


May 19

Maria Isabel of Braganza

Maria Isabel of Braganza (19 May 1797 – 26 December 1818) was the queen consort of Spain from 1816 until her death. She married her maternal uncle King Ferdinand VII of Spain as his second wife, and gave birth the following year to a daughter who died at four months old. A further pregnancy quickly followed, but she died during the subsequent difficult birth.

This oil-on-canvas portrait of Maria Isabel was painted by Bernardo López Piquer in 1829, ten years after her death. The artist had to rely on another painting (an oval-shaped bust portrait) created by his father Vicente López Portaña during her lifetime. It is likely that this official portrait was painted with the approval of Ferdinand VII, from which it is deduced that the king wanted to attribute to his late wife the foundation of the Museo del Prado in Madrid, visible through the window on the left, in which this painting now hangs.

Painting credit: Bernardo López Piquer


May 20

Saint Michael's Castle

Saint Michael's Castle is a former royal residence in the historic centre of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was built for Emperor Paul I between 1797 and 1801, and named after Saint Michael, the patron saint of the royal family. Constructed like a castle around a small octagonal courtyard, the four facades were built in different architectural styles, including French Classicism, Italian Renaissance and Gothic. The emperor was assassinated in the castle forty days after taking up residence. After his death, the imperial family returned to the Winter Palace and the building was transferred to the Russian Army's Main Engineering School. In 1990, it became a branch of the Russian Museum, and now houses its portrait gallery.

Photograph credit: Andrew Shiva


May 21

Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait is the second of the German Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer's three painted self-portraits. He painted himself in half length and slightly turned, under an arch and beside a window that opens onto a landscape with mountains. Created after his first trip to Italy, the work portrays him with an arrogant, cocky expression, which betrays the assured self-confidence of a young artist at the height of his ability. Dürer is dressed with effeminate grace in flamboyant clothes and fine gloves, showing the influence of Italian fashion. On the windowsill is a German inscription that translates as: "I painted this from my own appearance. I was twenty-six years old." The work was painted in oil on panel in 1498, and is now held at the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Painting credit: Albrecht Dürer


May 22

Marriage A-la-Mode: 2. The Tête à Tête

The Tête à Tête is the second of a series of six oil-on-canvas paintings by English painter and pictorial satirist William Hogarth, created around 1743. The series, entitled Marriage A-la-Mode, depicts an arranged marriage and its disastrous consequences in a satire of 18th-century society, and is now in the collection of the National Gallery in London.

In this picture, the couple are shown shortly after their wedding, and there are signs that the marriage has already begun to break down. The husband and wife appear uninterested in one another, amidst evidence of their separate dalliances the previous night. A small dog finds a lady's cap in the husband's coat pocket, indicating his adultery. A broken sword at his feet shows that he has been in a fight. The posture of the wife also indicates unfaithfulness; as Hogarth once noted: "A lock of hair falling thus cross the temples ... has an effect too alluring to be strictly decent, as is very well known to the loose and lowest class of women". The disarray of the room and the servant holding a stack of unpaid bills show that the affairs of the household are in a mess.

Painting credit: William Hogarth


May 23

Paulette del Baye

Paulette del Baye (1877 – 23 May 1945) was a French actress, singer, dancer and vaudeville performer from Cuba. She performed at the Moulin Rouge, in various London shows including The Passing Show of 1918, and in five silent films, including the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Man with the Twisted Lip. In 1909, she was one of the "fair actresses" implicated in a plot to restore the French monarchy.

This portrait of del Baye, taken by French photographer Paul Boyer, was published in the March 1907 issue of the fashion magazine Les Modes.

Photograph credit: Paul Boyer; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 24

Bacteriophage

A bacteriophage is a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria and archaea. Bacteriophages are among the most common and diverse entities in the biosphere, found wherever bacteria are present. Early evidence of their existence came when the English bacteriologist Ernest Hanbury Hankin reported in 1896 that something in the waters of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India had a marked antibacterial action against cholera, but was so minute that it could pass through a very fine porcelain filter.

This picture is a transmission electron micrograph at approximately 200,000× magnification, showing numerous bacteriophages attached to the exterior of a bacterium's cell wall.

Photograph credit: Graham Beards


May 25

Japanese pygmy woodpecker

The Japanese pygmy woodpecker (Yungipicus kizuki) is a species of woodpecker native to coniferous and deciduous forests in Russia, China, North Korea, South Korea and Japan. With a length of about 140 mm (5.5 in), its plumage is a dark greyish-brown, barred and blotched with white, with pale brown, streaked underparts. The male has a small red mark on the side of its nape, which the female lacks. It usually occurs in pairs or mixed-species foraging flocks, searching on trees for invertebrates, such as spiders, caterpillars, ants and aphids, and berries. Breeding takes place in the spring, with the nest being in a hole excavated in a dead branch.

This picture shows a Japanese pygmy woodpecker photographed in Sakai, in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Photograph credit: Laitche


May 26

Saint-Étienne-du-Mont

Saint-Étienne-du-Mont is a church located on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, France. It contains the shrine of Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, as well as the tombs of Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine. This photograph of the church's interior, looking eastward, shows the slight skew of the choir relative to the nave, the high rib-vaulted ceiling, the wooden pulpit on the right, and the triforium gallery that runs around the church at mid-level. An unusual feature for a French church, it is reached by serpentine staircases circling the piers. The stone rood screen, dating back to 1530–1545, is the only remaining example of a rood screen in Paris; much of the stained glass also dates to the same period.

Photograph credit: David Iliff


May 27

Monoceros

Monoceros is a faint constellation on the celestial equator, not easily visible to the naked eye. Its name is Greek for 'unicorn'. The constellation is attributed to the 17th-century Dutch cartographer Petrus Plancius. Clockwise from north, it is bordered by Gemini, Orion, Lepus, Canis Major, Puppis, Hydra and Canis Minor.

This illustration is plate 31 of Urania's Mirror, a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards illustrated by Sidney Hall and first published in 1824. Monoceros is fancifully depicted here as a prancing unicorn, being ridden by a small dog, representing Canis Minor. Underneath the unicorn is "Atelier Typographique", an obsolete constellation representing a printing press that has since been absorbed into Puppis. Urania's Mirror was originally advertised as containing "all the constellations visible in the British Empire", but that was not in fact the case, as some of the southern constellations are missing. The first edition showed only the stars in the featured constellations, with surrounding stars omitted; this illustration is from the second edition and includes the surrounding stars.

Lithograph credit: Sidney Hall; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 28

Abundantia

Abundantia was a divine personification of abundance and prosperity in ancient Rome. One explanation of the origin of the cornucopia myth, as related by Ovid, is that while the river god Achelous, in the form of a bull, was fighting Hercules, one of his horns was ripped off. The horn was taken up by the Naiads, who filled it with fruit and flowers, transforming it into a "horn of plenty", and gave it into Abundantia's care.

This oil-on-panel painting of Abundantia by Peter Paul Rubens, dating from around 1630, was probably a study for a tapestry. On her lap, the buxom goddess holds a cornucopia, spilling out an abundance of fruits and flowers, symbolising the goodness of nature for mankind. Two putti gather up the fruit, while a purse under her foot represents more material treasures. The painting is now in the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, Japan.

Painting credit: Peter Paul Rubens


May 29

Ratification of the United States Constitution by Rhode Island

On 29 May 1790, Rhode Island ratified the United States Constitution, becoming the last state to do so. It was a controversial decision, which occurred only after the United States had threatened a trade embargo against the state for non-compliance, with Rhode Island not having acceded to the Constitution almost three years after it was drawn up in 1787.

This picture is a historical depiction of Rhode Island's coat of arms, as illustrated by American engraver Henry Mitchell in State Arms of the Union, published in 1876 by Louis Prang. It was adopted by the state's General Assembly in 1881 and came into effect on 1 February 1882. The legislation stated: "The arms of the state are a golden anchor on a blue field, and the motto thereof is the word 'Hope'". A similar design appears on the seal of Rhode Island and other symbols of the state.

Illustration credit: Henry Mitchell; restored by Andrew Shiva


May 30

The Magistrate

The Magistrate is a farce by the English playwright Arthur Wing Pinero. The plot concerns a respectable magistrate who finds himself caught up in a series of scandalous events that almost cause his downfall. It was Pinero's first attempt at farce, and he tried to raise the genre from the low, pantomime level by creating believable characters in credible situations. The play was a great success, opening at the Court Theatre in London on 21 March 1885, where it played for 363 performances in its first run. Three touring companies were needed to meet the demand for the play in the provinces.

This poster, depicting the titular character, is an advertisement for the premiere of The Magistrate at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh on 20 July 1885.

Poster credit: Clement-Smith & Co.; restored by Adam Cuerden


May 31

Hybrid-propellant rocket

A hybrid-propellant rocket is a rocket with an engine that uses propellants in two different phases, one solid and the other gaseous or liquid. This photograph shows a transparent 3D-printed hybrid rocket fuel grain with dual helical fuel ports, a post combustion chamber, and a de Laval nozzle, shown prior to hot fire test.

Photograph credit: Matt Steiner and Kees08


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