Iconostasis in the Chapel on the Site Where Mikhail Nikitich Romanov Was Imprisoned. The Village of Nyrob. Ural


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 settlement of Nyrob, located near the Kolva River, around 160 kilometers north of Solikamsk. This remote location was chosen in 1601 by Tsar Boris Godunov as the place of exile for his purported rival boyar Mikhail Nikitich Romanov. Placed in a pit, Romanov died from harsh treatment in 1602. After the founding of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, a wooden chapel was erected on the site of the pit and rebuilt in brick in 1793. This view of the interior of the chapel shows a primitive icon screen with icons depicting the Virgin and Christ Child, the Miraculous Image of the Savior, and the three angels of the Old Testament Trinity. The upper row is devoted to the Crucifixion. Carved figures of Mary, Christ, and Saint John are flanked by icons of Mary Magdalene and Longinus the Centurion, traditionally depicted at the foot of the cross. This chapel was destroyed during the Soviet period. 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

Иконостас в часовне на месте, где был заключен Михаил Никитич Романов. Село Ныроб. Урал

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 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: September 28, 2016