Side View of Ferapontovskii Monastery from the North. Near Mozhaisk. Borodino


Founded in 1408 by Saint Ferapont of Mozhaisk and Belozersk, the Saint Ferapont-Luzhetskii Monastery became a major spiritual center in the Moscow region. Its sobor (main church), dedicated to the Nativity of the Mother of God, was built soon after the monastery’s founding and rebuilt of brick in 1520. This view, taken from the north in 1911, shows the Nativity Church in the center, with five domes. Also visible is the smaller form and cupola of the Church of Saint Ferapont, built in the late 16th century and destroyed in the Soviet period. On the right is the Refectory Church of the Presentation, first built in the 16th century and rebuilt after a fire in the 17th century. Enclosing the monastery are walls and towers from the 18th and 19th centuries. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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 parts of the empire. In connection with the centenary of the 1812 Napoleonic campaign against Russia, Prokudin-Gorskii photographed sites along the invasion route in 1911 and 1912. Among them was the Borodino battlefield, situated west of Moscow near the town of Mozhaisk.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Боковой вид Ферапонтовскаго монастыря с севера. У Можайска. Бородино

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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 23, 2016