In the Borodino Museum. Borodino
In 1911 and 1912, 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 Borodino, where the Russian and French armies clashed on September 7. This 1911 photograph shows the interior of the Borodino railroad station. For a decade, the station housed a battle museum, dedicated in 1902 and supported by the stationmaster, P. P. Bogdanovich. This large display case, resting on a leather settee, contains battlefield finds, including rusty sabers and a scabbard, spurs, insignia, a ramrod and even horseshoes. A polished plaque in the center notes that the collection was donated in 1907 by His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich. The items were gathered at the Berezina River crossing, where the remnants of Napoleon’s Grand Armée were routed in late November during the retreat from Moscow. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. 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 different parts of the empire.
Title in Original Language
В Бородинском музее. Бородино
Type of Item
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: October 7, 2016