Cup, Out of Which the Empress Catherine the Great Drank, When She Visited the Monastery. 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 photographed the Savior-Saint James (Iakovlev) Saint Dimitrii Monastery, founded in 1389 by Bishop Iakov of Rostov (died 1392) and enlarged by Metropolitan Jonah Sysoevich (circa 1607–90) in the 17th century. In 1709, Metropolitan Dimitrii of Rostov (1651–1709), a strong supporter of Peter I (the Great) (1672–1725), was buried here. After Dimitrii’s canonization in 1757, the monastery became a pilgrimage site patronized by the highest personages. On May 23, 1763, less than a year after she had ascended to the throne, Empress Catherine II (the Great) (1729–96) visited the monastery. She participated in the ceremony transferring Dimitrii’s remains to an elaborate silver casket made at the command of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (1709–62) in 1757. Seen here are two elaborately tooled and gilded chalices from which she drank during her visit. They are crowned with the double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Russian monarchy. 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

Кубки, из которых пила Императрица Екатерина Великая, посетившая монастырь. 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

Last updated: September 21, 2017