Candle. In the Vestry of Ipatevskii Monastery. Kostroma


In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) visited the town of Kostroma and photographed at the Trinity-Ipat’evskii Monastery. Founded as early as the late 13th century, the monastery flourished during the 16th century thanks to gifts from the Godunov family, which produced Tsar Boris Godunov (1552–1605). The monastery is also considered the “cradle of the Romanov dynasty,” since it is here that Michael Romanov took refuge with his mother in the fall of 1612 during the dynastic crisis known as the Time of Troubles. In March 1613, a delegation arrived at the monastery to announce that Michael had been chosen the new tsar of Russia. This photograph shows a large candle used in church rituals from the monastery treasury. Separated by elaborately articulated wooden rings, the square segments are faced with wooden panels that depict sacred figures. There is a misalignment of the registration of the three exposures required by Prokudin-Gorskii’s color process. 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

Свеча. В ризнице Ипатьевскаго монастыря. 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