Portrait of Pugachev, Painted from Life with Oil Paints. Museum Inventory Number 4588. In the Rostov Museum. 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), 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). In 1883, the White Chamber, built as a banquet hall for the Metropolitan of Rostov, opened as a museum of church antiquities. Shown here is an oil portrait of Emelyan Pugachev (circa 1742–75), a notorious pretender to the Russian throne, who rallied thousands (mostly impoverished serfs and Cossacks) to his cause in the Urals and Volga region, before his defeat and execution on Red Square in Moscow. The inscription beneath the painting states that this is a “genuine portrayal of the rebel and deceiver Emelka Pugachev”. The chain on the left side alludes to his capture. 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

Портрет Пугачева, писанный с натуры масляными красками. Муз. описи № 4588. В Ростовском музее. 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: June 13, 2017