Portal:The arts/Featured picture

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Featured pictures list

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The glass house at Lal Bagh, a botanical garden in Bangalore, India. The garden was commissioned by the ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali in 1760, and completed during the reign of his son Tipu Sultan. The glass house was modeled on London's Crystal Palace and constructed at the end of the 19th century.
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The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, his reign officially began 11 October 1735, lasting for 60 years. Named Hongli, he chose the era name Qianlong, meaning "heavenly prosperity". Although his early years saw the continuation of an era of prosperity and great military success in China, his final years saw troubles at home and abroad converge on the Qing Empire. Qianlong abdicated the throne at the age of 85, to his son, the Jiaqing Emperor, fulfilling his promise not to reign longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor.
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Big & Small
Credit: Photo: Christos Kalohoridis, Kindle Entertainment
Big (right) and Small are the two main characters of Big & Small, a British puppet-based children's television series aimed at preschool children. Both characters are voiced by comedian Lenny Henry in the UK version. In total, over 40 channels worldwide feature the show.
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Ramayana
Credit: Artist: Sahibdin
A scene from the Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit epic. Depicted here are several stages of the War of Lanka, with the monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting the demon army of the king of Lanka, Ravana, to save Rama's kidnapped wife Sita. The three-headed figure of the demon general Trisiras occurs in several places – most dramatically at the bottom left, where he is shown beheaded by Hanuman.
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Injured soldiers in the Crimean War
Credit: Artist: William Simpson; Lithographer: Edmond Morin; Restoration: NativeForeigner
A tinted lithograph, titled "Embarkation of the sick at Balaklava" 1855, shows injured and ill soldiers in the Crimean War boarding boats to take them from the siege lines down to the harbor to hospital facilities at Scutari. Modern nursing had its roots in the war, as war correspondents for newspapers reported the scandalous treatment of wounded soldiers in the first desperate winter, prompting the pioneering work of women such as Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole, Frances Margaret Taylor and others.
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Henry Clay addresses the U.S. Senate
Credit: Artist: Peter F. Rothermel; Engraver: Robert Whitechurch; Restoration: Lise Broer and Jujutacular
U.S. Senator Henry Clay gives a speech in the Old Senate Chamber calling for compromise on the issues dividing the United States. The result was the Compromise of 1850, a package of five bills, the first two of which were passed on September 9. Ironically, these led to a breakdown in the spirit of compromise in the years preceding the Civil War, particularly after the deaths of Clay and Daniel Webster.
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Slave ceremony in Suriname
Credit: Artist: Théodore Bray; Restoration: Lise Broer
A colored lithograph showing a funeral ceremony among slaves in Suriname in the mid-19th century. Attendees wear white as two men carry a wooden coffin. A small boy is blindfolded, which was a common practice during this time and place although the reason is unknown. Slavery was introduced with the English settlers in the 17th century and was not abolished until 200 years later.
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An illustration depicting an ancient Mexican calendar. The Maya and Aztec calendars are the most common of the Mexican calendars, but similar ones were used by other cultures. Common to all Mesoamerican cultures was the 260-day ritual calendar that had no confirmed correlation to astronomical or agricultural cycles. These were used in combination with a separate 365-day calendar to create a 52-year cycle known as a calendar round.
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A photochrom print of the General Art and Industrial Exposition of Stockholm complex on the island of Djurgården, located in central Stockholm, Sweden. Several of the structures built for the 1897 World's Fair still remain on the western part of the island, including Djurgårdsbron, the main bridge to the island; the Skansens Bergbana, the funicular railway now in the Skansen open air museum and zoo; and the Nordic Museum.
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A Kuna woman selling molas, a textile art form used to make the clothing typically worn by Kuna women. The Kuna are an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia, with a total population of about 50,000. The greatest number of Kuna people live on small islands in the comarca of Guna Yala.
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The Hohenzollern Bridge crossing the Rhine in Cologne, Germany, with the Cologne Cathedral in the background. The bridge is a tied-arch railway bridge, as well as a pedestrian bridge. Originally built in 1911, it survived numerous Allied bombings in World War II, only to be destroyed by German engineers as the war drew to a close. Reconstruction began soon after and the bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic in 1948 then completely opened in 1959.
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"I did not raise my girl to be a voter"
Credit: Cartoon: Merle De Vore Johnson; Restoration: Adam Cuerden
"I did not raise my girl to be a voter": A 1915 parody from Puck of the anti-World War I protest song " I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier" with the context altered to women's suffrage. A conductor labeled " political boss" leads a lone female soloist surrounded by a male chorus with various labels including "procurer", " child labor employer", and " sweat shop owner". Arguments in favor of granting women the right to vote included the contention that female voters would support laws that reduced prostitution, labor abuses, and other perceived social evils. The fight for women's suffrage in the United States began in the 1830s, and concluded with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on August 18, 1920.
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Battle of Churubusc
Credit: Artist: John Cameron; Restoration: Lise Broer
The Battle of Churubusco took place on August 20, 1847, in Churubusco (now a suburb of Mexico City) during the Mexican–American War. Three Mexican battalions—including the Saint Patrick's Battalion made up of immigrants—took up defensive positions inside a convent and were able to repulse the American attacks until they ran out of ammunition.
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Joan Baez and Bob Dylan
Credit: Photo: Rowland Scherman, USIA
American folk singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, performing a duet at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. Both were relatively new recording artists at the time, with Baez being at the forefront of American roots revival and Dylan having just released his second album. Baez was especially influential in introducing audiences to Dylan's music by recording several of his early songs and inviting him onstage during her own concerts.
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A self-portrait of Louis-Marie Autissier (1772–1830), a French-born Belgian portrait miniature painter. He is considered the founder of the Belgian school of miniature painting in the nineteenth century. Born at Vannes, in Brittany, he joined the French Revolutionary Army at Rennes in 1791. On leaving the army in 1795, Autissier went to Paris and trained his art by studying paintings at the Louvre. In 1796 he settled in Brussels, but continued to divide his time between Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Although he enjoyed great success in his career, serving as court painter to Louis Napoleon, French King of the Netherlands, and later to Willem I, Autissier died penniless.

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Giovanna degli Albizzi
Credit: Artist: Domenico Ghirlandaio
A portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni, the daughter in law of Giovanni Tornabuoni. She was a member of the Albizzi family, who were rivals of the Medici and Alberti families, and were at the centre of Florentine oligarchy starting from 1382 in the reaction that followed the Ciompi revolt. However, after Cosimo de' Medici returned from exile in 1434 (arranged by Rinaldo degli Albizzi) and regained power, he in turn exiled all but one of the Albizzis from Florence. This painting was done around 1490, long after the Albizzis' fall from grace.
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Join, or Die
Credit: Restoration: Adam Cuerden
" Join, or Die", a 1754 editorial cartoon by Benjamin Franklin, a woodcut showing a snake severed into eight pieces, with each segment labeled with the initials of a British American colony or region (not all colonies are represented). It was originally about the importance of colonial unity against France during the French and Indian War, and re-used in the years ahead of the American Revolution to signify unity against Great Britain.
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Megalith on Nias, Indonesia
Credit: Photo: Ludwig Borutta; Restoration: Lise Broer
Megaliths, some decorated, were a part of the culture of the island of Nias off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Among the many uses of these large stones were statues, seats for the chieftains, and tables where justice was done. Additionally, some stones commemorated the deaths of important people. In this 1915 photo, such a stone is hauled upwards, reportedly taking 525 people three days to erect in the village of Bawemataloeo.
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"After the war, a medal and maybe a job", an anti-World War I editorial cartoon showing a soldier who is missing the lower half of his body dragging himself along with his hands, with his intestines trailing behind him. A fat capitalist sitting in a chair offers him a medal for his service.
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The cover to the June 1914 issue of Vanity Fair, an American magazine published from 1913 to 1936 by Condé Montrose Nast, the first of many published by his company Condé Nast Publications. Nast purchased a men's fashion magazine titled Dress in 1913 and renamed it Dress and Vanity Fair. In 1914, the title was shortened to Vanity Fair. During its run, it competed with The New Yorker as the American establishment's top culture chronicle and featured writing by Thomas Wolfe, T. S. Eliot, P. G. Wodehouse, and Dorothy Parker. However, it became a casualty of the Great Depression and declining advertising revenues, and it was folded into Vogue in 1936. In 1983, Condé Nast revived the title as a new publication.
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The Great Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire, as presented to Emperor Paul I in October 1800. The use of the double-headed eagle in the coat of arms (seen in multiple locations here) goes back to the 15th century. With the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Grand Dukes of Muscovy came to see themselves as the successors of the Byzantine heritage, a notion reinforced by the marriage of Ivan III to Sophia Paleologue. Ivan adopted the golden Byzantine double-headed eagle in his seal, first documented in 1472, marking his direct claim to the Roman imperial heritage and his assertion as sovereign equal and rival to the Holy Roman Empire.
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A photographer's assistant uses a portable folding reflector to " bounce" available sunlight onto the model. Also known as a bounce board, this type of reflector is useful when the available light is insufficient for what the scene requires, and using a flash would make the lighting too harsh. Here, because of the mostly overcast day, the sun is positioned in the wrong location to illuminate both the model and desired background properly, so a reflector is used to accomplish the task.
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Drawing of a Palenque relief
Credit: Artist: Ricardo Almendáriz; Restoration: Lise Broer
An ink-and-wash illustration of a stucco relief on a building in Palenque, a Maya city in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century, but was abandoned around 800. It was first discovered by European explorers in the 16th century, but remained mostly unexplored until 1773. This particular piece was likely constructed during the long reign of K'inich Janaab' Pakal (mid-7th century), and is thought to depict Mayan ancestral rulers or the parents thereof. The standing figure holds a sceptre in the left hand, and in the right, a length of material. The seated figures adopt a posture of submission or deference, with hands placed on opposite shoulders.
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Wongudan
Credit: Photo: Burton Holmes; Restoration: Lise Broer
A 1925 photo of Wongudan, an altar site in Seoul built in 1897 as a location for the performance of the rite of heaven. King Seongjong of the Goryeo Dynasty was the first to perform the rite, designed to ensure a bountiful harvest, in the tenth century. The practice was discontinued by later Goryeo kings, revived briefly in the mid fifteenth century by Sejo of the Joseon Dynasty, then reinstated with the founding of the Korean Empire in 1897. Much of the altar complex was destroyed during the Japanese occupation, and the gate and fountain seen here were also subsequently removed, leaving only the three-storey Hwangungu pagoda remaining.
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Kiss of Judas
Credit:  Gustave Doré; Restoration: Adam Cuerden
Gustave Doré's depiction of the kiss given by Judas Iscariot to Jesus, identifying him as the one whom the soldiers of the high priest Caiaphas are to arrest. The Gospels states that Jesus foresaw and allowed the betrayal because it would allow God's plan to be fulfilled, but most Christians still consider Judas a traitor. Following this event, Caiaphas condemned Jesus for blasphemy, and the Sanhedrin trial concurred with a sentence of death. Jesus was handed over to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate for execution, and he carried out the sentence against his own wishes.
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The poilu's holiday
Credit: Artist: Adolphe Willette; Restoration: Lise Broer
The poilu's holiday December 25 and 26, 1915, a French World War I poster depicting a poilu's Christmas leave from the war. "Poilu", literally meaning "hairy one", is a nickname for French infantrymen. The word carries the sense of the infantryman's typically rural, agricultural background. Beards and bushy moustaches were often worn. The image of the dogged, bearded French soldier was widely used in propaganda and war memorials.
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Yumedono ("Hall of Dreams"), a building in the Hōryū-ji Buddhist temple complex in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The hall, which was built in 739, acquired its common name in the Heian period, in keeping with a legend that says a Buddha arrived as Prince Shōtoku, who had originally commissioned the temple, and meditated in a hall that existed there.
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A 1513 portrait of an unknown Duchess, perhaps Margaret, Countess of Tyrol, by Flemish artist Quentin Matsys. She holds a red flower in her right hand, at the time a symbol of engagement, indicating that she is trying to attract a suitor. This portrait inspired the appearance of the Duchess in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The painting is Matsys' best-known work, and developed half of a diptych. The painting is in the National Gallery in London.
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The Eiffel Tower as seen from the Champ de Mars. At 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, the tower, an iron lattice tower, is the tallest building in Paris, the most-visited paid monument in the world, as well as one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel, it was built as an entrance arch for the 1889 Exposition Universelle and has since become the most prominent symbol of both Paris and France.
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Zhou Maoshu Appreciating Lotuses, a designated National Treasure of Japan, is a 15th century painting mounted as a hanging scroll by Kanō Masanobu that depicts the 11th century Confucian scholar Zhou Maoshu in a boat floating on a lake with lotuses. Kanō was the chief painter of the Ashikaga shogunate and is generally considered the founder of the Kanō school of painting, which would become the dominant style of painting until the Meiji period.
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Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur, an 1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb depicting Ashkenazi Jews praying on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. The artist has painted himself (to the right of the seated rabbi, looking outwards) among the people of his hometown of Drohobych.
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Baris tunggal

A dancer from Sanata Dharma University's Sekar Jepun troupe performing the baris tunggal dance. The baris family of Balinese war dances is accompanied by gamelan and performed by one or more men, sometimes wielding a variety of weapons. The dance has been understood to depict the feelings of a young warrior prior to battle, glorify the manhood of the triumphant Balinese warrior, and display the sublimity of his commanding presence.

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Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta Appraised by Dante and Virgil

Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta Appraised by Dante and Virgil is a composition painted in at least five very similar versions by Dutch–French Romantic painter Ary Scheffer; all are in oils on canvas. The paintings depict a scene from Dante's Inferno. A pair of lovers, Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta, are shown in Hell, while Dante and Virgil are on the right viewing them. A stab wound is visible on Malatesta's chest, signifying the pair's murder by his brother, Giovanni, who was da Rimini's husband. This picture is the version of the painting painted in 1855, which hangs in the Louvre in Paris. The original, dating to 1835, is now in the Wallace Collection in London. Others exist in collections in the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, and Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art.

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Admiralty Extension

The Admiralty Extension, built in the late 19th century, is the largest of Admiralty buildings built to house the authority responsible for the command of the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. Redesigned while under construction to accommodate the extra offices needed due to the naval arms race with the German Empire, it served as the headquarters of the Admiralty until 1964 when it was subsumed into the Ministry of Defence in nearby Whitehall.

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Rootabaga Stories

Rootabaga Stories is a children's book of interrelated short stories by Carl Sandburg, written in 1922. The stories are whimsical and sometimes melancholy, making use of nonsense language. Rootabaga Stories was originally created for Sandburg's own daughters, Margaret, Janet and Helga—whom he nicknamed "Spink", "Skabootch", and "Swipes"—and those nicknames occur in some of the Rootabaga stories. The book was born of Sandburg's desire for fairy tales to which American children could relate, rather than the traditional European stories involving royalty and knights. He therefore set the book in a fictionalized American Midwest called the "Rootabaga country", in which fairy-tale concepts were mixed with trains, sidewalks, and skyscrapers. This picture shows the frontispiece of the 1922 edition of the book.

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Comme des Garçons

A collection of garments designed by the Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Founded in 1969 by Rei Kawakubo and established as a company in 1973, the brand's name is inspired by a line from Françoise Hardy's song " Tous les garçons et les filles". It gained popularity in Japan through the 1970s, before making its debut Paris show in 1981, where Kawakubo's heavy use of black, as well as distressed fabrics and unfinished seams, were viewed negatively by critics. Comme des Garçons produced many unusual styles through the 1980s and 1990s, many of which were disliked by experts, but nonetheless grew into a large commercially successful enterprise. The company has boutique stores in several countries, exhibits its main collections annually at the Paris Fashion Week, and also runs a line of perfumes.

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Phenakistoscope
Original disc by: Eadweard Muybridge
Animation by: trialsanderrors

An animated simulation of a phenakistoscope disc. The phenakistoscope is one of the first devices to create moving images and a precursor of the zoopraxiscope and, in turn, cinematography. Conceived as a simple disc to be held vertically in front of a mirror and spun around its axis, the subjects appear to be in motion when viewed through the slits of the disc.

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal panel

A panel from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a webcomic by Zach Weiner first published in its current iteration in 2002. This daily comic features no recurring characters or storylines, and has no set format; some strips may be a single panel, while others may go on for ten panels or more. Recurring themes include atheism, God, superheroes, romance, dating, science, research, parenting and the meaning of life.

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Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter and one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade, he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life. Van Gogh sold few paintings during his lifetime, and was contemporaneously considered a madman and a failure. However, he has attained widespread critical and popular acclaim since the early 20th century, and his works are among the world's most expensive paintings. Van Gogh produced this oil-on-canvas self-portrait in September 1889. One of his several self-portraits, it may have been his last, produced shortly before he left Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in southern France. The work is now in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

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How a Mosquito Operates (1912) is a silent animated film by American cartoonist Winsor McCay. The six-minute short, about a giant mosquito tormenting a dozing man who tries in vain to shoo it away, is one of the earliest works of animation. It is considered far ahead of its contemporaries in its technical quality. McCay had a reputation for his proficiency as a cartoonist, exemplified in the children's comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. He delved into the infant art of animation with the 1911 film Little Nemo, and followed its success by adapting an episode of his comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend into How a Mosquito Operates. McCay gives the animation naturalistic timing, motion, and weight, and displays a more coherent story and developed character than in Little Nemo. The film was enthusiastically received when McCay first unveiled it during a chalk talk (a vaudeville act with drawings) and in a theatrical release that soon followed. In 1914 McCay further developed his character animation style in his best-known animated work, Gertie the Dinosaur.

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Neo-Impressionism

Neo-Impressionism is a term coined by French art critic Félix Fénéon in 1886 to describe an art movement founded by Georges Seurat, whose most renowned masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, marked the beginning of this movement when it was first exhibited in Paris. Around this time, the peak of France's modern era emerged and many painters were in search of new methods. Followers of Neo-Impressionism, in particular, were drawn to modern urban scenes as well as landscapes and seashores. Science-based interpretation of lines and colors influenced Neo-Impressionists' characterization of their own contemporary art. The Pointillist and Divisionist techniques are often mentioned in this context, because it was the dominant technique in the beginning of the Neo-impressionist movement. This picture is a oil-on-canvas portrait of Félix Fénéon in the Neo-Impressionist style by French painter Paul Signac, dated 1890. The painting is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

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Contre-jour

An example of contre-jour ( French for "against the day light") photography, when the camera is pointing towards the light source. In this picture, the light reflecting off the ground within the tunnel gives depth to an otherwise two-dimensional image. Image taken in São Martinho do Porto, west coast of Portugal, 1968.

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Apollo and Daphne

Apollo and Daphne is a life-sized Baroque marble sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, created between 1622 and 1625. Housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome as part of the Borghese Collection, the work depicts the climax of the story of Apollo and Daphne in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Apollo clutches Daphne's hip, pursuing her as she flees from him. Apollo wears a laurel crown, and Daphne is portrayed halfway through her metamorphosis from human form into the laurel tree, with her arms already transforming into its branches as she flees and calls to her father to save her from Apollo.

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La forza del destino

La forza del destino (The Power of Fate or The Force of Destiny) is an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi. The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave and is based on a Spanish drama, Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino by Ángel de Saavedra, 3rd Duke of Rivas. The complex plot revolves around whether it is possible for the protagonists to escape their destiny, and the opera concludes with most of the main characters dead. In this poster, illustrated by Charles Lecocq, Leonora has just been fatally stabbed by her brother, Carlos, to whom she had run after he was mortally injured in a duel with Alvaro, the suitor from whom she had become separated after they had eloped together.

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Autochrome nude
Photograph: Arnold Genthe; Restoration: Chick Bowen

A nude study in autochrome by Arnold Genthe. Autochrome was patented by the Lumière brothers in 1903 and became the dominant colour photography process for over two decades. It used dyed potato starch in its plates to provide colour. Because of additional filters necessary for the process, it required longer exposure than black-and-white plates.

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Apollo and Daphne

Apollo and Daphne is a life-sized Baroque marble sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, created between 1622 and 1625. Housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome as part of the Borghese Collection, the work depicts the climax of the story of Apollo and Daphne in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Apollo clutches Daphne's hip, pursuing her as she flees from him. Apollo wears a laurel crown, and Daphne is portrayed halfway through her metamorphosis from human form into the laurel tree, with her arms already transforming into its branches as she flees and calls to her father to save her from Apollo.

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Still life
Painting credit: Osias Beert

A still life is a work of art depicting inanimate subject matter, typically either natural things such as flowers, dead animals, food, rocks or shells, or man-made objects. As a genre, still-life painting began with Netherlandish painting in the 16th and 17th centuries. The wealthy Dutch Empire's trade enabled the importation of spices, sugar and exotic fruits into the country, and new ingredients such as dates, rice, cinnamon, ginger, nuts, and saffron became available. This oil-on-panel still life from the 1620s by the Flemish artist Osias Beert is entitled Dishes with Oysters, Fruit, and Wine, and includes a rare early depiction of sugar in art. The painting now hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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A Negress

A Negress is an 1884 oil-on-canvas painting by the Polish artist Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowicz, depicting an unknown model. The subject is portrayed from the waist up and dressed in a white robe, but is part naked, with one breast exposed. The Japanese hand fan and the source of light that illuminates the figure and is reflected by highlights in the gold bijoux, create a warm and chamber-like atmosphere. Painted in Paris, the painting was looted during World War II. It was returned to the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw in 2012.

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Phenakistiscope
Illustration credit: Thomas Mann Baynes; animated by Basile Morin

The phenakistiscope was the first widespread animation device that created a fluent illusion of motion. A series of pictures showing sequential phases of the animation are seen through small slots spaced evenly around the rim of a disc. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the images reflected in a mirror, seeing a rapid succession of images that appear to be a single moving picture. This animation shows one such phenakistiscope disc, entitled Running rats, created by Thomas Mann Baynes in 1833.

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Chromostereopsis
Stained-glass credit: unknown; photographed by Jan Mehlich

Chromostereopsis is a visual illusion in which the impression of depth is conveyed in two-dimensional color images. This 1564 stained-glass window, in the Bielsko-Biała Museum and Castle in Poland, exhibits this effect, with contrasting depth perception in the red and blue areas. The window, an example of Standesscheibe, depicts the coat of arms of Unterwalden, a canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy.