Mosque in Vladikavkaz


Incorrectly identified as the mosque in Vladikavkaz, this photograph was taken during a trip Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) took to Italy during the spring and summer of 1906. The view was taken within an arcade at the harbor of Malcesine, located on the eastern shore of Lake Garda in Verona Province. The lake and its steep western shore are visible beyond the sun-lit terrace. On the right is a small wooden boarding ramp and the wrapped canvas of a sail. Known to be an Etruscan site as early as the fifth century BC, the settlement was absorbed into the Roman Empire in 15 BC. Malcesine is known above all for its medieval citadel, Castello Scaligero. Prokudin-Gorskii was clearly impressed by the picturesque location and found an ideal spot in ancient buildings that line the harbor to frame this remarkable composition. The chiaroscuro interplay demonstrates the subtle technical range of his camera. Prokudin-Gorskii is best known for using 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

Мечеть в Владикавказе

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: November 1, 2016