General View of Koloch Monastery. Borodino


In 1911–12, in connection with the centenary of the 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. Seen here is a west view of the Kolotskii Dormition Monastery, located near the Koloch River to the west of the Borodino battlefield. The monastery was founded in 1413 by Prince Andrei Dmitrevich of Mozhaisk. Ransacked by the French during the invasion, it was restored by the time of a Borodino commemorative observance in 1839. Visible in the center is the Dormition Cathedral, whose core originated in the early 17th century and underwent a major rebuilding in the mid-18th century. To the right is a tiered bell tower (1739–63) above the monastery’s south gate. In the foreground are the west wall and towers, built from the late 17th to the mid-18th centuries. 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

Общий вид Колочскаго монастыря. Бородино

Additional Subjects

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