Refectory and Church of the Grieving Mother of God in the Monastery. Tikhvinskii Monastery, Ekaterinburg


From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural scenes. In 1909 and 1910 he photographed extensively in the Urals region, including the city of Ekaterinburg (named Sverdlovsk 1924–91). Founded in the early 18th century, Ekaterinburg was home to several monastic institutions, including the New Tikhvin Convent, formally established in 1809. By the beginning of the 20th century, this was one of the largest convents in Russia, with its capacious Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky (1838–52; not extant). Shown here is the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Skorbiashchenskaia (Joy to all who Grieve). Begun as part of a major building campaign in 1823 and completed in 1832, the church was attached to the convent infirmary (the building on the left). The design of the church is in the style of an Italian rotunda. Wall paintings devoted to Christ and Mary are visible in semicircular panels beneath the dome. Severely deformed during the Soviet period, the church has now been restored to active use. Prokudin-Gorskii 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Трапезная и церковь Скорбящей Божьей Матери в монастыре. [Тихвинский монастырь] Екатеринбург

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 28, 2016