Shroud from the Sixteenth Century, Depicting the Venerable Avraam, Embroidered with Gold and Black Thread on Silk. According to Legend, Placed on Saint Avraam Rostovskii's Tomb by Tsar Ivan the Terrible upon His Return from the Kazan Campaign. Museu


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 embroidered 16th-century silk memorial cloth (pokrov, or covering) for the sepulcher containing remains of Saint Avraamii of Rostov (11th century). He was venerated for fighting against pagan idols at this early stage in the spread of Christianity in northeastern Rus. The silk cloth was embroidered with gold and black thread. Legend has it that the cloth was placed on the saint’s tomb by Ivan the Terrible on his return from the victorious campaign against Kazan in 1552. 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

Покров ХVI века, изображающий Препод. Авраамия, шитый золотом и черными нитками на шелков. поле. По преданию, возложен на гробницу Св. Авраамия Ростовскаго Царем Иваном Васильевичем Грозным по возвращении из Казанскаго похода. Муз. описи № 3012. В Ро

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