One of the Frescos in the Church of Saint John Chrysostom (Left Wall). 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 shows frescoes on the west bay of the north wall in the Church of Saint John Chrysostom, part of the church ensemble at Korovniki, a district of Yaroslavl near the confluence of the Kotorosl and Volga Rivers. The basic structure was built in 1649–54 with funds from the merchants Fedor and Ivan Nezhdanovskii. The extensive frescoes were painted in 1732–33 by a group of local masters headed by Aleksei Ivanov. Displayed here are scenes from the life of Saint John Chrysostom (circa 349–407), Archbishop of Constantinople and one of the great hierarchs and preachers of the early Christian church. Included among the frescoes are scenes of his exile and deathbed, with an angel carrying his departing soul (located in the center of the lower row). Church prelates are depicted in the window embrasures above. 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

Одна из фресок в церкви Иоанна Златоуста (левая стина). 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