The Tsar's Photographer and His Amazing Contribution to the Preservation of Russian History

Source: Russia Insider

Russian Chemist and Photographer Sergei Mikhaelovich Prokudin-Gorsky Russian Chemist and Photographer Sergei Mikhaelovich Prokudin-Gorsky
    

Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky was a Russian chemist and photographer famous for his pioneering work in color photography in the early twentieth century.

In 1905 Gorsky set himself to the task of photographically documenting the Russian Empire with the primary aim of educating Russian schoolchildren on the diverse history and culture of the realm. After his famous color photograph of renowned author Leo Tolstoy in 1908, Gorsky received an invitation to present his work to Tsar Nicholas II and his family. So impressed was the Tsar that he commissioned Gorsky’s plan and provided him with funding and a specially-outfitted dark room rail car for his work.

From 1909 to 1915 Gorsky tirelessly traversed the Russian empire capturing thousands of shots of virtually every walk of Russian life. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the completion of his historic mission, we are publishing 100 of his best shots, giving a vivid glimpse into Tsarist Russia on the eve of the Communist Revolution.  

‘War and Peace’ author Leo Tolstoy - 1908 ‘War and Peace’ author Leo Tolstoy - 1908
    

84-year-old Pinkhus Karlinsky was the supervisor of the Chernigov floodgate over the course of 66 years - 1909 84-year-old Pinkhus Karlinsky was the supervisor of the Chernigov floodgate over the course of 66 years - 1909
    

Dagestani couple - between 1909-1915 Dagestani couple - between 1909-1915
    

Assumption Cathedral in the Dalmatov Monastery - 1912 Assumption Cathedral in the Dalmatov Monastery - 1912
    

Assumption Cathedral in Tobolsk, rampart and part of fence - 1912 Assumption Cathedral in Tobolsk, rampart and part of fence - 1912
    

Austrian prisoners of war at a barracks near Kiappeselga - 1915 Austrian prisoners of war at a barracks near Kiappeselga - 1915
    

Young boy standing next to a gatepost - 1910 Young boy standing next to a gatepost - 1910
    

Bukharan bureaucrat - between 1909-1915 Bukharan bureaucrat - between 1909-1915
    

Cathedral in Shadrinsk - 1912 Cathedral in Shadrinsk - 1912
    

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God at the Ipatevsky Monastery - 1910 Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God at the Ipatevsky Monastery - 1910
    

Cathedral of the Transfigured Savior and Church of the Entry to Jerusalem in Torzhok - 1910 Cathedral of the Transfigured Savior and Church of the Entry to Jerusalem in Torzhok - 1910
    

Foreman of the Chakva tea factory, Lau Dzhen Dzhau - between 1909-1915 Foreman of the Chakva tea factory, Lau Dzhen Dzhau - between 1909-1915
    

Chapel from the time of Peter the Great near the Kivach Waterfall near the river Suna - 1915 Chapel from the time of Peter the Great near the Kivach Waterfall near the river Suna - 1915
    

Chapel where the city of Belozersk was founded in ancient times - 1909 Chapel where the city of Belozersk was founded in ancient times - 1909
    

Children sitting on a hill near a church and belltower in the countryside near White Lake in northern Russia - 1909 Children sitting on a hill near a church and belltower in the countryside near White Lake in northern Russia - 1909
    

Church of the Resurrection of the Blood - between 1909-1915 Church of the Resurrection of the Blood - between 1909-1915
    

Church of the Holy Mother of God in Tobolsk - 1912 Church of the Holy Mother of God in Tobolsk - 1912
    

Church of the Resurrection in the Grove in Kostroma - 1910 Church of the Resurrection in the Grove in Kostroma - 1910
    

View of Dalmatov from the monastery belltower - 1912 View of Dalmatov from the monastery belltower - 1912
    

Joining of the Irtysh and Tobol rivers - 1912 Joining of the Irtysh and Tobol rivers - 1912
    

Courtyard of the Church of the Resurrection - between 1909-1915 Courtyard of the Church of the Resurrection - between 1909-1915
    

Dagestani couple - between 1909-1915 Dagestani couple - between 1909-1915
    

Dmitrievsky Cathedral in Vladimir - 1911 Dmitrievsky Cathedral in Vladimir - 1911
    

Drying nets on Lake Seliger - 1910 Drying nets on Lake Seliger - 1910
    

Entrance to the Church of the Resurrection in Kostroma - 1910 Entrance to the Church of the Resurrection in Kostroma - 1910
    

Exit from the yard of the Church of St. George at the Riurik fortress Staraya Lagoda - 1909 Exit from the yard of the Church of St. George at the Riurik fortress Staraya Lagoda - 1909
    

Carpet merchant in Samarqand - between 1909-1915 Carpet merchant in Samarqand - between 1909-1915
    

Family working iron mines in the Bakaly Hills with shovels and horse-drawn carts - between 1909-1915 Family working iron mines in the Bakaly Hills with shovels and horse-drawn carts - between 1909-1915
    

Farmers taking a rest from haying - 1909 Farmers taking a rest from haying - 1909
    

Russian forest - 1910 Russian forest - 1910
    

Column fresco in the Church of St. John Chrystosom in Yaroslavl - 1911 Column fresco in the Church of St. John Chrystosom in Yaroslavl - 1911
    

Overview of Artvin from the small town of Svet - between 1909-1915 Overview of Artvin from the small town of Svet - between 1909-1915
    

View of Liksansky Palace from the Kura River - between 1909-1915 View of Liksansky Palace from the Kura River - between 1909-1915
    

View of Nikolaevsky Cathedral from the southwest - 1911 View of Nikolaevsky Cathedral from the southwest - 1911
    

View of Shakh-i-Zendi Mosque in Samarkand - between 1909-1915 View of Shakh-i-Zendi Mosque in Samarkand - between 1909-1915
    

Georgian woman standing next to a tree - between 1909-1915 Georgian woman standing next to a tree - between 1909-1915
    

Girl with berries - 1909 Girl with berries - 1909
    

Sergei Gorsky at the Karolitskhali River - 1912 Sergei Gorsky at the Karolitskhali River - 1912
    

Gospel belonging to the nun Varsanofiya, governess of the Tsarevna, in Trinity Monastery in Alexandrov - 1911 Gospel belonging to the nun Varsanofiya, governess of the Tsarevna, in Trinity Monastery in Alexandrov - 1911
    

Group of Greek tea harvesters in Chavka - between 1909-1915 Group of Greek tea harvesters in Chavka - between 1909-1915
    

Hay storage at the Viazovaya Station - 1910 Hay storage at the Viazovaya Station - 1910
    

Iconostasis at a church in Borodino - 1911 Iconostasis at a church in Borodino - 1911
    

Iconostasis at the Winter Church of the Fedorov Mother of God in Yaroslavl - 1911 Iconostasis at the Winter Church of the Fedorov Mother of God in Yaroslavl - 1911
    

Treasures in the vestry of the Ipatevsky Monastery in Kostroma - 1911 Treasures in the vestry of the Ipatevsky Monastery in Kostroma - 1911
    

Borodino Museum - 1911 Borodino Museum - 1911
  

Jewish children with their teacher in Samarqand - between 1909-1915 Jewish children with their teacher in Samarqand - between 1909-1915
    

Production shop for scabbards at the Zlatoust arms plant - 1910 Production shop for scabbards at the Zlatoust arms plant - 1910
    

Boat Yard in Kareshka - 1909 Boat Yard in Kareshka - 1909
    

Large gathering of men in Central Asia, possibly for a game of Bayga - between 1909-1915 Large gathering of men in Central Asia, possibly for a game of Bayga - between 1909-1915
    

Workers laying concrete for a dam over the Oka River - 1912 Workers laying concrete for a dam over the Oka River - 1912
    

Locomotive and coal car at a railroad yard - between 1909-1915 Locomotive and coal car at a railroad yard - between 1909-1915
    

Horseman on the Golodnaya Steppe - between 1909-1915 Horseman on the Golodnaya Steppe - between 1909-1915
    

Man sitting among bamboo trees - between 1909-1915 Man sitting among bamboo trees - between 1909-1915
    

Man sitting on a log next to a hut for woodcutters - 1912 Man sitting on a log next to a hut for woodcutters - 1912
    

Melon vendor in Samarqand - between 1909-1915 Melon vendor in Samarqand - between 1909-1915
    

Mills in Tobolsk Province - 1912 Mills in Tobolsk Province - 1912
    

The last Emir of Bukhara, Mohammad Alim Khan - 1911 The last Emir of Bukhara, Mohammad Alim Khan - 1911
    

Artistic casting at Kasli Iron Works - between 1909-1915 Artistic casting at Kasli Iron Works - between 1909-1915
    

Monks planting potatoes at Gethsemane Monastery - 1910 Monks planting potatoes at Gethsemane Monastery - 1910
    

Mother of God-Odigitria in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Smolensk - 1912 Mother of God-Odigitria in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin in Smolensk - 1912
    

Mullahs at a mosque in Aziziya Batum - between 1909-1915 Mullahs at a mosque in Aziziya Batum - between 1909-1915
    

Hotel in Gagra with chauffeur in front - between 1909-1915 Hotel in Gagra with chauffeur in front - between 1909-1915
    

Night camp by a rock on the banks of the Chusovaya - 1912 Night camp by a rock on the banks of the Chusovaya - 1912
    

Kyrgyz family on the steppe - between 1909-1915 Kyrgyz family on the steppe - between 1909-1915
    

Noviy Afon Monastery Ponds - between 1909-1915 Noviy Afon Monastery Ponds - between 1909-1915
    

An old man in Samarqand holding a brace of birds - between 1909-1915 An old man in Samarqand holding a brace of birds - between 1909-1915
    

Ordezh River near Siverskaya Station in Petersburg Province - between 1909-1915 Ordezh River near Siverskaya Station in Petersburg Province - between 1909-1915
    

Handcar outside Petrozavodsk on the Murmansk Railway - between 1909-1915 Handcar outside Petrozavodsk on the Murmansk Railway - between 1909-1915
    

Skuritskhali River - between 1909-1915 Skuritskhali River - between 1909-1915
    

Guests standing near Catherine’s Spring at a spa at Borzhom - between 1909-1915 Guests standing near Catherine’s Spring at a spa at Borzhom - between 1909-1915
    

Rafts on Peter the Great Canal in Shlisselburg - 1909 Rafts on Peter the Great Canal in Shlisselburg - 1909
    

Right bank of the Irtysh River at Tobolsk - 1912 Right bank of the Irtysh River at Tobolsk - 1912
    

Hauberk and helmet of St. Dalmat - 1912 Hauberk and helmet of St. Dalmat - 1912
    

Sart fields in Samarqand - between 1909-1915 Sart fields in Samarqand - between 1909-1915
    

Sergei Gorsky with two Cossaks in Murman - 1915 Sergei Gorsky with two Cossaks in Murman - 1915
    

Settler’s family in village of Grafovka - between 1909-1915 Settler’s family in village of Grafovka - between 1909-1915
    

Steam engine ‘Kompaund’ with Schmidt super heater - 1915 Steam engine ‘Kompaund’ with Schmidt super heater - 1915
    

Stork in a nest in Bukhara - between 1909-1915 Stork in a nest in Bukhara - between 1909-1915
    

Tile stove in the prince’s chamber in Rosta Veliky - 1911 Tile stove in the prince’s chamber in Rosta Veliky - 1911
    

Tow rope bridge in the village of Lava - 1909 Tow rope bridge in the village of Lava - 1909
    

Trinity Cathedral in the city of Lalaturovsk - 1912 Trinity Cathedral in the city of Lalaturovsk - 1912
    

Trinity monastery in the city of Tumen - 1912 Trinity monastery in the city of Tumen - 1912
    

Tsar Aleksei Mikhaelovich’s gospel and Tsar Mikhael Feodorovich’s sacremental vessels in Trinity Monastery in Alexandrov - 1911 Tsar Aleksei Mikhaelovich’s gospel and Tsar Mikhael Feodorovich’s sacremental vessels in Trinity Monastery in Alexandrov - 1911
    

Tsarist gifts to the Goritsky Monastery - 1909 Tsarist gifts to the Goritsky Monastery - 1909
    

Two men and a woman standing outside the Zlatoust arms plant - 1910 Two men and a woman standing outside the Zlatoust arms plant - 1910
    

Two men and two boys in Samarqand - between 1909-1915 Two men and two boys in Samarqand - between 1909-1915
    

Two men with a boat in Ostrechiny - 1909 Two men with a boat in Ostrechiny - 1909
    

Shir-Dar madrasa in Samarqand - between 1909-1915 Shir-Dar madrasa in Samarqand - between 1909-1915
    

Solovetsky Monastery - 1915 Solovetsky Monastery - 1915
    

View of Tbilisi from St. David Church - between 1909-1915 View of Tbilisi from St. David Church - between 1909-1915
    

View of Dalmatov Monastery from the Iset River - 1912 View of Dalmatov Monastery from the Iset River - 1912
    

View of Tobolsk from Assumption Cathedral - 1912 View of Tobolsk from Assumption Cathedral - 1912
    

Village of Kolchedan - 1912 Village of Kolchedan - 1912
    

Weighing station at the Chakva tea factory - between 1909-1915 Weighing station at the Chakva tea factory - between 1909-1915
    

Woman in Purdah standing next to a wooden door - between 1909-1915 Woman in Purdah standing next to a wooden door - between 1909-1915
    

Woman spinning yarn in the village of Izvedod - 1910 Woman spinning yarn in the village of Izvedod - 1910
    

Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in the village of Pidma - 1909 Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in the village of Pidma - 1909
    

Young woman in Malorossi (Ukraine) - between -1909-1915 Young woman in Malorossi (Ukraine) - between -1909-1915
    

Young women offer berries to visitors to their izbas - traditional wooden houses along the Sheksna River near Kirillov - 1909 Young women offer berries to visitors to their izbas - traditional wooden houses along the Sheksna River near Kirillov - 1909
    

6/23/2015

Comments
Reinaldo7/26/2015 5:43 am
What a great testimony of the grandeur of Russian lands. Thank you for this collection.
Kevin7/26/2015 12:20 am
Beautiful.
SS Kumar6/28/2015 8:27 am
beautiful. Took me through a time machine journey into the past, which I could have, otherwise never seen. Thanks
Alan6/25/2015 12:14 am
Thank you for publishing this collection.
Kevin6/24/2015 8:00 am
Some of the most beautiful photography I've ever seen. The color is so intriguing. You feel like you're there - 100 years ago. Please accept my sincere thanks!
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 700 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook , or enter your information:
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 700

×