Chapel for Water Blessing, in the Village of Deviatiny. Russian Empire


This photograph, made in 1909, shows an open wooden chapel for the blessing of water in the village of Deviatiny, located on the Vytegra River some 20 kilometers north of the town of Vytegra. Built over a pool at the riverbank, the chapel has decorative carving in the manner of a pavilion. In the background is the river, with village houses on the far bank. The Vytegra River, which flows northwest into Lake Onega, is one of the components of the Mariinskii Canal system (now known as the Volga-Baltic Waterway) that links Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin. Although only 64 kilometers in length, the Vytegra is the essential link between Lake Onega and the Kovzha River, which empties into White Lake to the southeast. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Часовня для водоосвящения в селе Девятины. [Российская империя]

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)


  • Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at

Last updated: September 23, 2016