Fresco in the 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. This view of the interior of the Church of the Feodor Icon of the Mother of God shows a fresco depicting the conversion and martyrdom (beheading) of Saint Alexandra of Rome, identified in some accounts as the wife of Diocletian. She is said to have accepted Christianity after witnessing the faith of Saint George, who appears to be in the center of the composition. The Church of the Feodor Icon of the Mother of God was built in 1682–87 with the support of wealthy merchant parishoners. In 1715, the merchant Ioann Eremin donated the enormous sum of 1,000 rubles, which the parish used to commission wall paintings by a group of Yaroslavl artists led by the icon painters Fedor Ignatiev and Fedor Fedorov. The frescoes were completed on June 28, 1716. Beneath the fresco is a decorative band. 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

Фреска в зимней церкви Федоровской Божьей Матери. 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

Last updated: March 3, 2017