Model of the Boat on Which Peter the Great Visited Solovetskii Monastery in 1694. Solovetski Islands


The Murmansk Railroad was built by the Russian government during World War I to connect Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) to the ice-free port of Romanov-on-Murman (now Murmansk). Construction lasted from 1914 to the spring of 1917 when the line was completed. Near the route was the Transfiguration Monastery, located on Great Solovetskii Island. Shown here is a model of the three-masted ship Saint Peter, suspended from the brick vault of an entrance passage to the monastery. At the command of Peter I, the ship was built in 1693 at the Solombala shipyard on the Northern Dvina River in Arkhangelsk. The attached tablet states, “Model of the vessel of Lord Emperor Peter the Great, having been for the first time at the Solovetskii Monastery on the 7th day of the month of June in the 1694th year from the Birth of Christ, and in the 7202th year from the Creation of the world.” 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 his 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 different parts of the empire. Support for his work was renewed during the First World War, and in 1916 he was commissioned to photograph this new railroad project; he also photographed regions along the route.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Модель судна на ктр. Петр I посетил Соловецк. монаст. в 1694 году. [Соловецкие острова]

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