Last Friday, early colour photographer Sergei Mikhailovish Prokudin-Gorskii
would have celebrated his 150th birthday. The Russian master died in 1944 at the age of 81.
But he left behind over 2,600 amazing photographs of the Russian Empire he had taken between 1909 and 1915.
The Prokudin-Gorskii Collection at the Library of Congress shows the ethnographic and geographic diversity of the vast Russian Empire through images of people, religious architecture, pastoral views, and transportation and agricultural workers.
Prodkudin-Gorskii was remarkable for his use of a special camera that captured images with a red, green, and blue filter, which later allowed him to create “near true colour” images.
He made numerous photographic trips throughout his lifetime, travelling thousands of miles across the expansive Russian Empire.
The resulting collection is his incredible legacy.
Here is Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich Prokudin-Gorskiĭ himself (on the right) sitting with two men in Cossak dress.
A Muslim teacher with his female students near the Artomelinskaia mosque in Artvin, modern-day Turkey.
Three young women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River, near the town of Kirillov.
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