The pre-revolution Russia of 1917

More than 100 years ago, the Soviet Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky traveled by train with a dark mobile camera to take photographs of the country at the request of Tsar Nicholas II. This period ran from 1909 to 1915 and, 100 years after the project was completed, the Prokudin-Gorsky Collection recalled some of these photos as a way to celebrate this historic journey.

Armed with access to all areas of the country, Prokudin-Gorsky portrayed the lives of Soviet citizens of that era. It is not known which device Prokudin-Gorsky used or how it looks because, ironically, the designs or images did not survive, but this could have three lenses on top of one another. The three filters were of red, green and blue paint and the images captured on a long glass plate.

If it is true that photography has evolved today into an unimaginable future for the official Tsar photographer, it is no less true that the photos of then, as we see them today, were of exceptional quality for the time.

Born in Murom in 1863, Prokudin-Gorsky was educated as a chemist and study with some of the most important scientists in St. Petersburg, Berlin and Paris. He grew up with a passion for photography and developed a personal technique of producing color images. After the Russian revolution, in 1917, left the country by Paris, where it died in 1944.

The Prokudin-Gorsky Collection has over 2,607 images and was purchased by the US Congress Bookstore in 1948 for € 7,000 – € 70,000 in the current currency.




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