Detail inside the Baian-Kuli-Khan Tomb. Bukhara


This photograph shows a corner vault beneath the dome of the 16th-century mausoleum of the Chagatai Khan Bayan Qulï in the Faisakhan area on the outskirts of Bukhara. In 1348 Bayan Qulï was made titular ruler of Bukhara by Emir Qazaghan, who had seized power in the area in 1346. In 1358 the emir was assassinated. Power passed to his son Abdullah, who then had the Bayan Qulï executed. Abdullah was himself killed the same year, and Bayan Qulï was buried next to the mausoleum of his revered teacher, Sheikh Saif ed-Din Bokharzi. The mausoleum of Bayan Qulï shows the elaborate decorative style of 16th-century Bukhara, including ample use of carved terra cotta with a blue glaze. 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 1911 he traveled to a region of Central Asia then known as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), where he photographed monuments of Islamic architecture in Bukhara.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Деталь внутри гробницы Баян-Кули-Хан. Бухара

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: September 30, 2016