(Winter) Church of the Fedorov Mother of God. Yaroslavl


In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled to the middle Volga region and spent time in the medieval centers of Yaroslavl and Kostroma. Shown here is the Church of Saint Nicholas on Penye, constructed in 1691 to replace a wooden Church of Saint Nicholas, which stood to the north of the recently completed Church of the Feodor Icon of the Mother of God. In clearing space for the church, parishoners felled a tree grove and left a number of stumps, hence the name Penye, from the Russian pen’, or “stump”. The Saint Nicholas Church in fact served as a “winter church” (smaller and therefore more easily heated) for the Feodorovsky parish. Attached to the west end of the vestibule was a large octagonal bell tower culminating in a “tent” tower with tiered openings to diffuse the sound of the bells. This modestly decorated structure of whitewashed brick was the only church in the historic center of Yaroslavl to remain open throughout the Soviet period. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his 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

Церковь Федоровской Божьей Матери (зимняя). Ярославль

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 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: March 3, 2017