Koloch River from the Bridge by the Entrance into the Village of Borodino, Where the Slope of Raevskii Redoubt Falls. Borodino Battlefield


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 was taken in 1911 from a bridge over the Koloch River, a shallow 36 kilometer-long right tributary of the Moscow River that flows through the main area of the battlefield. To the left the bridge leads into the village of Borodino, which was stormed by the French. The area to the right formed part of the Raevskii Redoubt, a Russian fortification with massed artillery that became a focal point of the battle and changed hands more than once, with tremendous loss of life. The Russian commander, Prince Michael Kutuzov, had his headquarters at the village of Gorki, located in the distant heights beyond the Koloch. 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

Река Колочь с моста при въезде в с. Бородино, куда спадает пологость редута Раевскаго. Бородино

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: November 1, 2016