Cross of Abbot Vassian. In the Vestry of the 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 is 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. After the establishment of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, the monastery flourished thanks to gifts from the royal family. This photograph shows a gilded silver altar cross from the monastery treasury, donated by noted cleric Hegumen Vassian in 1563. Bordered with pearls and inset with precious stones, the upper part of the cross features a depiction of the Crucifixion flanked by Mary and Saint John. The top of the cross has a representation of the Holy Trinity, while the inscription at the bottom notes the donation by Vassian. 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
Крест игумена Вассяна. В ризнице Ипатьевскаго монастыря. 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