Seventeenth-Century Plashchanitsa (Shroud with the Image of Christ), in the Middle, a Wooden Carved Image of Christ Our Savior Lying in the Grave. On the Sides, Carved Images of Saint John the Theologian and Saint John the Precursor. Museum Inventory


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), more precisely known as the Court of the Metropolitan, constructed primarily in the 1670s and 1680s by the powerful prelate Metropolitan Jonah Sysoevich (circa 1607–90). With the transfer of the Metropolitanate from Rostov to Yaroslavl in 1787, the kremlin fell into decay. In the late 19th century local merchants gathered funds to maintain the ensemble, and in 1883 the White Chamber, built as a banquet hall for the Metropolitan of Rostov, opened as a museum of church antiquities. Shown here from the museum collection are three life-sized carved figures of the entombed Christ flanked by Saint John the Divine and John the Baptist. The painted wooden figures were originally part of a Holy Shroud (Epitaphios, or plashchanitsa in Russian) used to represent the burial of Christ during services on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. 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

Посредине - плащаница XVII в. - резное из дерева изображение возлежащаго во Гробе Христа Спасителя. По сторонам резныя изображения Св. Иоанна Богослова и Св. Иоанна Предтечи. Муз. оп. № 5683 и № 190. В Ростовском музе

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: October 24, 2017