Shevardinskii Redoubt. General View from the Bell Tower of Spaso-Borodinskii Monastery. Borodino Battlefield

Description

In 1911–12, in connection with the centenary of the 1812 Napoleonic campaign against Russia, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) photographed sites along the invasion route. Foremost among them was the Borodino battlefield, where the Russian and French armies clashed on September 7, 1812. This photograph, taken from the bell tower of the Savior-Borodino Convent in 1911, shows the site of the Shevardino Redoubt, a critical point in the preliminary development of the Borodino battle. Constructed as a pentagonal earthworks to anchor the left (south) flank of the Russian armies, the Shevardino Redoubt was attacked and ultimately taken by French forces on September 5. Although the fortification had lost its original strategic purpose, it was fiercely defended by Russian forces under the command of General Piotr Bagration. After an orderly retreat, new defensive positions were hastily improvised on the Russian left flank. 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

Шевардинский редут. Общий вид с колокольни Спасо-Бородинскаго мон. Бородино

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)

Notes

  • 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: November 1, 2016