In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) visited Rostov the Great, located some 210 kilometers northeast of Moscow. Its main landmark is the kremlin (citadel), also known as the Court of the Metropolitan, constructed primarily in the 1670s and 1680s by Metropolitan Jonah Sysoevich (circa 1607–90). With the transfer of the metropolitanate from Rostov to Yaroslavl in 1787, the kremlin fell into decay. In the late 19th century, local merchants gathered funds to maintain the ensemble, and in 1883 the White Chamber opened as a museum of church antiquities. Shown here from the treasury of the Dormition Cathedral is a richly embroidered phelonion, an Orthodox priest’s vestment similar to a chasuble. According to the caption this phelonion was made for Metropolitan Varlaam (II) in 1635. Varlaam I (Rogov) was appointed the first Metropolitan of Rostov, Yaroslavl and Belozersk in 1589; he died in 1603. Varlaam II served as Metropolitan of Rostov and Yaroslavl in 1619–52. At the beginning of the 20th century, Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire on the eve of the Russian revolution. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Note: Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.
Place: Europe; Russian Federation; Yaroslavl Oblast; Rostov
Institution: Library of Congress
Physical description: Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)