Zubtsov. Vazuza Side of the City with the Vazuza River, Flowing into the Volga River


In the early summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in Tver’ Province northwest of Moscow. Among the towns he visited was Zubtsov, the population of which in that year was 3,167. Located at the confluence of the Vazuza and Volga Rivers, Zubtsov is first referred to in medieval chronicles under the year 1216. In 1485, it was absorbed into Muscovy together with the Tver’ Principality. From the medieval period through the 19th century, Zubtsov was a regional market town particularly known for its flax products. This view northeast was taken from Moscow (formerly Polustova) Hill across the Volga River. Just visible in the middle is the Church of the Transfiguration (1794) and its neoclassical bell tower, which was built in 1848 and destroyed during the Soviet period. To the left, horses stand on a sand island exposed by the low water level in the summer. In the foreground is the Vazuza River with log rafts on the sand. 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

г. Зубцов. Вазузская сторона, с рекой Вазузой, впадающей в Волгу

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: January 13, 2017