Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky: Colorful memories of the Russian Empire

Group. (Myself with two others, Murmansk). 1915 //  Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, pictured third from L-R, was a Russian chemist and photographer. He is best known for his pioneering work in color photography.
Trinity Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Monastery, Belgorod. 1910 // In 1890 Prokudin-Gorsky joined Russia's oldest photographic society, the photography section of the Imperial Russian Technical Society.
Three generations. A.P. Kalganov with son and granddaughter. The last two work in the shops of the Zlatoust plant. 1910 // In 1901, Prokudin-Gorsky established a photography studio and laboratory in Saint Petersburg.
Baling machine for hay, Murmansk. 1915 // Throughout the years, Prokudin-Gorsky's photographic work, publications and slide shows to other scientists and photographers in Russia, Germany and France earned him praise.
Work at the Bakalskii mine, Ural Mountains. 1910 // In 1906 Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky was elected the president of the IRTS photography section and editor of Russia's main photography journal, the Fotograf-Liubitel.
Peasant girls. 1909 // The Tsar Nicholas II enjoyed the color photos, and, with his blessing, Prokudin-Gorsky got the permission and funding to document Russia in color.
Spinning yarn. In the village of Izvedovo, near Suzdal. 1910 // Prokudin-Gorsky considered the project his life's work and continued his photographic journeys through Russia until after the October Revolution in 1917.
Monks at work. Planting potatoes near Gethsemane Monastery. 1910 // In the course of ten years, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky was to make a collection of 10,000 photos.
Cotton. In Sukhumi Botanical Garden. 1911 // His ultimate goal was to educate the schoolchildren of Russia with his "optical color projections" of the vast history, culture, and modernization of the Empire.
Log sawing. Kuzminskoe village along the Oka River. 1912 // His subjects ranged from the medieval churches and monasteries of old Russia, to the railroads and factories of an emerging industrial power, to the daily life and work of Russia's diverse population.
Fisherman on the Iset River, Ural mountains. 1910 // Photographs of Prokudin-Gorsky offer a vivid portrait of a lost world—the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and the coming Russian Revolution.
At harvest time. 1909 // After the October Revolution, Prokudin-Gorsky was appointed to a new professorship under the new regime, but he left Soviet Russia in August 1918.
Settler's family. Settlement of Grafovka, Central Asia. 1905 // Upon leaving the country and exporting all his photographic material, about half of the photos were confiscated by Russian authorities for containing material that seemed to be strategically sensitive for war-time Russia.
Fishing settlements on Lake Seliger. 1910 // Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky finally settled in Paris in 1922. He set up a photo studio there together with his three adult children.
On the handcar outside Petrozavodsk on the Murmansk railway. 1915 // In the 1930s, the elderly Prokudin-Gorsky continued with lectures showing his photographs of Russia to young Russians in France, but stopped commercial work.
Observing a solar eclipse on January 1, 1907 near the Cherniaevo Station in the Tian-Shan mountains // Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky died at Paris on September 27, 1944 at the age of 81. Most of his photos are now in the U.S. Library of Congress.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

More exciting stories and videos on Russia Beyond's Facebook page