Iconostasis in Count Sheremetev's Cathedral. Near Rostov Velikii. Our Savior-Iakovlevskii Monastery


In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) visited the town of Rostov the Great, located some 210 kilometers northeast of Moscow, where he took many photographs of the Savior-Saint James (Iakovlev) Saint Dimitrii Monastery. Seen here is a view east toward the altar of the monastery’s majestic Cathedral of Saint Dimitrii. Built in 1794–1802, it is also known as the Sheremetev Cathedral in homage to its donor, Count Nikolai P. Sheremetev (1751–1809). Attributed to architect Elizvoi Nazarov (1747–1822), the design is an excellent example of high Neoclassicism. Instead of the usual iconostasis, the altar space has tall paintings of Christ and the Virgin Mary on either side of the Royal Gate, which is open to show the altar table and coffered ceiling above. The interior is attributed to the sculptor Gavriil Zamaraev (1758–1823). A noted philanthropist, Sheremetev commissioned the shrine to contain the relics of Metropolitan Dimitrii of Rostov (1651–1709), which nonetheless remained in the adjacent Cathedral of the Conception of Saint Anne. 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

Иконостас собора графа Шереметьева. Близ Ростова Великаго. Спасо-Яковлевский монастырь

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 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: October 24, 2017