‘Dragonstone’ by Andrey Omelyanchuk.

Photo Of The Day is “Dragonstone” by Andrey Omelyanchuk.
Location: Basque Country, Spain.
See more of Andrey Omelyanchuk’s photography at http://www.ansharphoto.com.
Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP Contests.
Source: Photo Of The Day By Andrey Omelyanchuk – Outdoor Photographer

The Dancing Plague of 1518.

In July of 1518, in full view of her neighbors, Frau Troffea for no apparent reason began to violently dance in the streets of the city of Strasbourg.
There was no music and her face betrayed no expression of joy. She appeared unable to stop herself from her frenzy.
Had this remained an isolated incident, the city elders may have put it down to madness or demonic possession, but soon after Troffea began her dancing, a neighbor joined in.
And then another. By the end of a week more than 30 people were dancing night and day on the streets of the city.
And it didn’t stop there. By the time a month had passed, at least 400 citizens of Strasbourg were swept up in the phenomenon.
Medical and civic authorities were called in once some of the dancers began dying from heart attacks, exhaustion, or strokes.
For some inexplicable reason, these men believed that the cure for the dancing was more dancing, so they erected a wooden stage for the dancers and musicians were called in.
This all sounds like some archaic bit of folklore, but the dancing plague of 1518 is clearly chronicled in medical, civic, and religious notes of the time.
Modern researchers pore over those notes to develop theories as to what caused this bizarre incident.
One of those theories postulates that the dancers were the victims of mass hysteria: instances when more than one person believes they are afflicted by an identical malady — often during times of extreme stress within the affected community.
The Strasbourg incident occurred during a time of rampant famine and malnutrition and subsequent deaths.
But 400 people? A well-known recent incident generally seen as an example of mass hysteria is 1962′s “The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic” which affected only 95 people.
A second theory is in the realm of agriculture.
The condition called Ergotism occurs when grains of rye are attacked by a specific mold.
Eating the infected rye can lead to seizures, although the movements of Strasbourg’s afflicted looked much more like traditional dancing than seizures of any sort.
A final school of thought states that the dancing was in result of some kind of religious ecstasy caused by veneration of Saint Vitus, the patron saint of epilepsy.
via The Dancing Plague of 1518 – Historic Mysteries.

Bastille Day Celebrations, France.

Bastille Day celebrations
The origins of modern Bastille Day celebrations reportedly date back to the late 19th century.
A national feast was held to honor the French republic back in 1878 while the day was made a national holiday two years later.
The most notable modern celebration of Bastille Day is the famed Bastille Day Military Parade, which takes place in Paris on the morning of the holiday.
The parade, the largest and oldest regular military parade in all of Europe, is held on the Champs-Élysées between the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde.
The parade is attended by the President of France and various foreign ambassadors and other dignitaries.
Other prominent celebrations include flyovers by the French Air Force and fireworks at the iconic Eiffel Tower on the night of the holiday.
Source: Bastille Day 2018: Everything you need to know | Daily Mail Online

Le Petite Barque by Emile Friant, 1863 1932.

La_petite_barque_E_Friant_Nancy_2718Le Petite Barque by Friant
Émile Friant (16 April 1863 – 9 June 1932) was born in the commune of Dieuze.
He would later be forced to flee to Nancy by to the encroachment of the Kingdom of Prussia’s soldiers.
His paintings were featured throughout his lifetime at the Salon, until a tragic fall led to his demise in 1932.
Friant created works in charcoal, oil, and other media. He also used photographs to prepare finished paintings.
640px-Autoportrait_E_Friant_Nancy_2718
 Friant’s Self portrait
Friant was born in the commune of Dieuze in 1863. His father was a locksmith and mother a dressmaker.
The wife of a chemist, Madame Parisot would hire the wife of Émile Friant’s father to design custom clothing.
The Parisots took an early interest in the young Friant and treated him maternally as they were without children of their own.
With the defeat of the Second French Empire at hand, as part of the then-ongoing Franco-Prussian War, Dieuze was no longer under state control.
Intensely distressed by this, Parisot intended to leave the commune for Nancy, but died shortly before having the chance. I
n 1871, Madame Parisot fled with Friant to Nancy while his biological family would follow later.
emile_friant_la_toussaint_1888Emile Friant, La Toussant.
Friant was to sent to the lycée to learn Latin as Madame Parisot intended for him to follow in her husband’s footsteps and become a chemist.
Meanwhile, friends of his biological father had suggested sending him to a municipal school of art because of his skill with the brush.
Because of his poor work at the lycée, Friant requested permission to leave and focus on his art.
His father agreed, and the young Friant was placed under the guide of a private tutor who would arrange his academic work so that time remained for painting.
Under the guidance of Louis-Théodore Devilly, director of a school in Nancy and a proponent of realism, Friant learned the art of still life and landscape painting.
Friant painted Le petit Friant at the age of 15. It was exhibited in Nancy and quickly became the center of public intrigue.
The municipal council granted him permission to travel to Paris a year later.
There, he studied under Alexandre Cabanel, who tutored him in creating oil sketches of historical works. Friant, becoming disenchanted by the academic style of the Atelier Method returned to Nancy.
Read further via Émile Friant – Wikipedia,

Abandoned ‘Wild Wood’ in Paris by Julien Daniel.

Julien Daniel presents ‘Wild Wood‘
Deep in the urban heart of the Paris suburbs – or banlieues – 30 hectares of land were exploited for over a century for the extraction of gypsum.
The quarry was abandoned in 1965, and a perimeter fence now blocks public access for fear of subsidence.
Nature has slowly regained its rights, and the old stone mine has become a wild wood,’ he says. ‘In September work will begin to create a leisure centre, complete with climbing wall, solarium and pony club.
The site and its history question our relationship with nature.’
Image Credit: Photograph by Julien Daniel / MYOP
Source: Agence MYOP photographers at the Arles festival – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian