Friday, December 30, 2016
Photo Minute: Russian Empire (1900 and 1916) in original colour
• Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky was a chemist who pioneered the use of colour photography in Tsarist Russia
• Between 1905 and 1915 Tsar Nicholas II paid him to travel the Russian Empire taking these stunning images
• The images show prisoners of war, Jews, iron miners, Cossacks, loggers, convicts and Muslim minorities
• Prokudin-Gorsky fled after the Russian Revolution in 1917, moved to Paris and died in exile there in 1944
A remarkable series of colour photographs, taken more than 100 years ago, have been unearthed and they paint a fascinating picture of the dying days of the Russian Empire.
Between 1905 and 1915 Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, a pioneer of colour photography, travelled the empire by railway, chronicling the lives of the many different people who lived under the rule of the doomed Tsar Nicholas II.
Prokudin-Gorsky, whose amazing journey was sponsored by the tsar himself, took a series of images which have become a time capsule, capturing the traditions and cultures which were to disappear after the Russian Revolution of 1917.
He moved to Paris after the tsar was overthrown and later executed and when he died, aged 81, in 1944 his entire collection was bought from his son by the US library of Congress and all 2,607 can be viewed online on their archive.