City of Staritsa. Across the Volga River. Exaltation of the Cross Church
In the 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 Staritsa, the population of which in that year was 6,654. Located near the confluence of the Staritsa River with the Volga, Staritsa was founded in 1297 as a fortress by Prince Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver’ (1272-1318). The town was absorbed into Muscovy in 1485. This view east across the Volga River includes the south wall the Dormition Monastery (left), with the Dormition Tower over the Holy Gates (1885). Visible on the slope beyond the monastery are three churches: the Church of the Elevation of the Cross (1776; formally known as the Church of the Epiphany); the Church of Elijah the Prophet (1794); and the Church of John the Baptist (1813). Only the Elijah Church remained after the Soviet period. In the left, foreground splotches of color indicate the motion of figures during the time required for the three-color exposure process. 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.
Title in Original Language
г. Старица. Заволжская сторона. Крестовоздвиженская церковь
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: January 13, 2017