View of the City of Ostahkov from Voron'i Island


In the early summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) photographed extensively in the Ostashkov region of Tver’ Province northwest of Moscow. This view toward the south from Voron’i Island in Lake Seliger shows the cathedral complex in Ostashkov. On the right is the Cathedral of the Resurrection, originally built in 1677–89 with a freestanding octagonal bell tower featuring a tall peak in the Yaroslavl style. In the center is the Cathedral of the Trinity, built in 1685–97 also in the decorative Yaroslavl style. In the mid-18th century it gained its own, even higher bell tower, built in the Baroque style. In the 18th and 19th centuries, both cathedrals underwent extensive modifications that included roofs rebuilt with neoclassical pediments. On the far left is the Convent of the Icon of the Virgin of the Sign (Znamenie), established in 1673 and extensively rebuilt after a fire destroyed much of Ostashkov in 1868. 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

[Вид города Осташкова с острова Воронье]

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: January 13, 2017