Holy Water Bowl. Gift from Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich. In the Vestry of the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin. Rostov Velikii
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. Shown here from the treasury of the kremlin Dormition Cathedral is a silver holy water basin donated by Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov (1596–1645). The vessel rests on a large foot with an ornamental ring. Beneath the lip is an elaborate inscription about the creation of the vessel. Inside is an aspergillum, or holy water sprinkle (kropilo). Often the aspergillum had a hollow shaft that could be filled with water. The sprinkling of holy water during the liturgy served as purification and protection against evil spirits. 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.
Title in Original Language
Водосвятная чаша. Дар Царя Михаила Феодоровича. В ризнице Успенскаго собора в Кремле. Ростов Великий
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: May 23, 2017