Silver Vessels. 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. According to tradition, the monastery was founded by the Tatar noble Murza Chet, who in 1330 left the Mongol Golden Horde for the court of Muscovite Prince Ivan Kalita. Considered the ancestor of the Godunov family, Chet was said to have accepted Christianity after seeing a vision of Mary flanked by Saints Philip and Hypatius. This photograph shows silver sacramental vessels from the monastery treasury, including an engraved chalice ornamented with precious stones as well as a spoon for the wine (the blood of Christ). Also displayed are three engraved plates for the wafers. The plate on the right displays the image of the Virgin of the Sign. All were donated in 1603 by Ivan Ivanovich Godunov, the sole son of Ivan Vasilevich Godunov and a cousin twice removed of Tsar Boris Godunov (1552–1605). 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

Серебряные сосуды. 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