Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich's Staff. 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. In March 1613, a delegation arrived at the monastery to announce that Michael had been chosen the new tsar of Russia by a national convocation (zemskii sobor). The monastery subsequently received many gifts from the royal family. Shown here from the monastery treasury is the wooden staff (posokh) of the second Romanov tsar, Alexei Mikhailovich (1629–76). Associated with shepherds in antiquity, the staff was often considered to have magical properties. Originally held in the Kremlin Armory, this staff was donated to the monastery by Tsar Nicholas I in 1834. 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
Посох Царя Михаила Феодоровича. 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