Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pictures Of A Lost World

Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, born in Russia in 1863, was trained as a chemist and studied with highly regarded scientists in Paris, Berlin and St. Petersburg. He developed techniques for some of the first color photography, with the ultimate goal of educating Russia's schoolchildren of the empire's vast history and culture.

Tsar Nicholas II provided a specially outfitted railroad car darkroom and necessary permits to travel unimpeded throughout the great empire, even to previously restricted areas.

The top picture captures Russian peasant girls, holding bowls of local berries, standing before a traditional wooden house.

Prokudin-Gorsky traveled from 1909-1915, constantly photographing and documenting Russian daily life, its medieval churches, modernization and diverse cultures.

The next picture is 2 Cossacks with the photographer, sitting along the Murmansk Railway, circa 1915.

The above photograph is of a prison in Bukhara, Uzebkistan. The guard on the left wears the uniform of the Russian Army.

Prududin-Gorsky left his beloved Russia in 1918 and traveled to Norway and England before eventually settling in Paris.

The entire collection of photographs was purchased from his heirs by the United States in 1944. His work is the most complete visual record of the years just prior to World War I and the Russian Revolution, truly a lost world.

1 comment:

High Desert Diva said...

The photo quality (color!!!) for that time period is unbelievable!