Field Covered with Manure


In the summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in Tver’ Province northwest of Moscow. Although the caption gives no specific information, the place of this photograph in Prokudin-Gorskii’s contact albums suggests that it was taken in Tver’ Province. The view of a field at a farmstead shows piles of manure mixed with straw that have been brought from stables or cow barns – visible in the background – to be spread as fertilizer over the field. Prokudin-Gorskii often photographed agricultural subjects, particularly in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire, such as Turkestan and the Black Sea coast, to show the effects of improvement and progress. This view of agricultural practices in the Russian heartland showing weather-beaten log structures might be taken as evidence of lagging development. 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

Поле с вывезенным навозом

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 11, 2017