Censer. Gift from I. I. Godunov. In the Vestry of Ipatevskii Monastery. Kostroma
In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) returned to Kostroma, a town that he had visited the year before, and did further work at the Trinity-Ipat’evskii Monastery. Founded as early as the late 13th century, the monastery flourished thanks to lavish gifts during the 16th century from the Godunov family, which produced 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 a silver censer with intricate gilded foliate work from the monastery’s treasury. It was donated by Ivan Ivanovich Godunov, the sole son of Ivan Vasilevich Godunov and a cousin twice removed of Tsar Boris. The censer contained incense and was suspended from four chains that allowed it to be swung to disperse the incense during the liturgy. A fifth chain is attached to the lid so that it could be easily raised to tend the burning incense. 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.
Title in Original Language
Кадило. Дар И.И. Годунова. В ризнице Ипатьевск. мон. Кострома
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 11, 2017