Monument on the Tomb of Hadji-Husein-Bek Supplied by Tamerlane


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, natural scenes, and cultural monuments. In the summer of 1910, Prokudin-Gorskii visited the region around the city of Ufa (now the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan). One of the historic sites he photographed was the ancient akzirat (“white cemetery”), housing the tomb of Hadji Hussein-Bek. The site was located near Ishtym Station, some 35 kilometers west of Ufa. The mausoleum was erected around 1341, the presumed death date of the imam, or holy man. Hussein-Bek came from Turkestan to propagate Islam among the Nogai and Bashkirs living in the area. Seen here within the structure (the roof had partially collapsed when Prokudin-Gorskii visited) is the tombstone, covered with green patina. The inscription, in Arabic script, indicates that Hussein-Bek, son of Humer-Bek, died at the age of 76. Legend has it that the tombstone was brought to the site from Samarkand by ten bulls, by order of the great conqueror Timur (1336–1405). 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

Надгробный камень на могиле Хаджи-Хусейн-бека, доставленный Тамерланом

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