Cathedral of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God in Ipatevskii Monastery (Winter). Kostroma


In the late summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made a trip down the Volga River from the town of Uglich. He took a number of photographs in Kostroma, including at the Trinity-Ipat’evskii Monastery, located near the confluence of the Kostroma River with the Volga. Founded as early as the late 13th century, the monastery flourished thanks to lavish gifts during the 16th century. The main benefactors were Dmitrii Godunov and his nephew, the future tsar Boris Godunov (1552–1605). The Godunovs considered the monastery to have been founded by their Tatar ancestor Murza Chet, who in 1330 left the Golden Horde for the court of Muscovite Prince Ivan Kalita. This photograph shows the north façade of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin. An earlier church, built of logs in 1564, served as a burial place for Chet and his descendants. In 1859–63, architect Constantine Thon designed the Russo-Byzantine church seen here, which replaced an 18th-century brick version. Demolished in the 1930s, the church was reconstructed in 2008–13. On the left is the main entrance to the Trinity Cathedral. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire on the eve of the Russian Revolution. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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

Собор Рождества Пресвятой Богородицы в Ипатьевском монастыре (зимний). [Кострома]

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