Thursday, September 03, 2009

Rare Color Photographs of Czarist Russia

The Library of Congress has a display of photographs taken by the royal photographer of Czar St. Nicholas II online. Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was given special funding and transportation by the Czar, including a private train, with the commission to create a photographic record of his vast empire. Prokudin-Gorskii used a self developed method to create color photographs at a time when that kind of technology was almost non-existent. The result is a magnificent collection of color pictures of the Russian Empire dating to the first decade of the previous century through roughly 1915. A small sampling of the photographs are below. Click on the pictures to view them in full size.

Church of the Nativity of the Virgin of the Trinity-Ipat'ev Monastery (early 14th century) near Kostroma on the Volga. The church was demolished by the Communists. This is believed to be the only color photograph of the church in existence.

A Sunni Muslim Dagestani in traditional attire.

A. P. Kalganov poses with his son and granddaughter for a portrait in the industrial town of Zlatoust in the Ural Mountains region of Russia.

Pinkhus Karlinskii (84), the supervisor of the Chernigov floodgate, stands by a ferry dock along the Mariinskii Canal system in the northern part of European Russia.

The Village of Kolchedan (1912) in the Ural Mountains near Ekaterinburg.

5 comments:

Sophocles said...

Wow. Very beautiful pictures. Thanks for posting this.

Chris said...

Awesome.

Reactionary said...

What the atheists destroyed.

nothinghypothetical said...

Thank you for sharing it. I saw this a few years ago and lost track of it. It's a treasure.

Liza Gay said...

The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis had an exhibition of some of these photos in 2008. It was quite wonderful to see...vivid images with beautiful detail.