Censers. Gift from Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich. In the Vestry of the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin. Rostov Velikii

Description

In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) visited Rostov the Great, located some 210 kilometers northeast of Moscow. Its main landmark is the kremlin (citadel), also known as the Court of the Metropolitan, constructed primarily in the last third of the 17th century. In the late 19th century, local merchants gathered funds to maintain the ensemble, and in 1883 the White Chamber opened as a museum of church antiquities. Seen here from the treasury of the kremlin Dormition Cathedral are four censers donated by Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov (1596–1645). They are decorated with intricate gilded foliate work and enamel inlays. A censer contained incense and was suspended from four chains that allowed it to be swung for dispersing the incense during the liturgy. A fifth chain is attached to the lid so that it could be raised to tend the burning incense. The upper parts resemble an Orthodox church with a drum supporting a cupola and cross. At the beginning of the 20th century, 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

Кадила. Дар Царя Михаила Феодоровича. В ризнице Успенскаго собора в Кремле. Ростов Великий

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)

Notes

  • 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: May 23, 2017