Patriarch Iova's Sakkos Bishop's Robe. Staritsa Assumption Monastery


In the summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in Tver’ Province northwest of Moscow including in the town of Staritsa, whose major religious institution was the Dormition Monastery. Seen here is a sakkos belonging to Job, who served as the first patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church from 1589 to 1605. Derived from the Greek word for “sackcloth,” the sakkos was an outer vestment worn by Orthodox bishops in imitation of the tunic worn by Christ during his trial. Suspended from the sakkos on the right is an embroidered palitsa, worn as a symbol of authority by an Orthodox prelate. Saint Job’s tenure was a turbulent time in Russian history. After the death of Boris Godunov in 1605, Job refused to support the claims to the throne of the first False Dmitrii. He was subsequently exiled to the Dormition Monastery, where he died in 1607. In 1652 his remains were reburied in the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. He was glorified as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1989. 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

Саккос [sic] Патриарха Иова. [Успенский Старицкий монастырь]

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