Frescoes in the Window Niches and a Copy of the Icon of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker in the Church. Nyrob


In 1909 and 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled extensively in the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural landscapes. During his visit to the northern Urals (apparently in 1912), Prokudin-Gorskii visited the remote settlement of Nyrob, located around 160 kilometers north of Solikamsk. In 1601, Tsar Boris Godunov exiled his purported rival boyar Mikhail Nikitich Romanov to Nyrob, who died there from harsh treatment in 1602. After the founding of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, the site of his death was venerated with two log churches dedicated to the Epiphany and to Saint Nicholas. The Church of Saint Nicholas was rebuilt in brick in 1704–05 and its interior was painted with frescoes in 1722–25. Seen here are two window embrasures in the thick walls of the Church of Saint Nicholas, with frescoes of Saint Leo, Bishop of Catania (circa 703–circa 785), and Iona (Jonah), Metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus (1390s–1461). Saint Leo was known as a defender of icons during the Byzantine period of iconoclasm (destruction of religious images). As head of the Russian Church, Metropolitan Iona played a critical role in the consolidation of political power in Moscow. Also seen here is an icon of Saint Nicholas. 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

Фрески в оконных нишах и копия иконы Св. Николая Чудотворца в храме. [Ныроб]

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