Group of Men Seated on Rugs, Praying, under Hanging Candelabras, inside a Mosque


A notable complex on the outskirts of Bukhara is the Baha ad-Din Memorial Complex dedicated to the religious leader Bakhaaddin Nakshbandi (1314–89), who was born near Bukhara. The Nakshbandi brotherhood became a major force in the mystical tradition of Sufism. Around the 1540s the complex was substantially expanded by the Shaybanid ruler Abdullaziz Khan I (1509–50). Shown here are turbaned figures in prayer in the decorated courtyard of the Muzaffar-khan Mosque, built in the 1530s. In the foreground, marble bases support wooden columns carved in intricate geometric patterns. The walls display a variety of ceramic ornamentation, including inscriptions and niches surfaced with ceramic tiles. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. 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. In 1911 his travels took him to an area of Central Asia then known as Turkestan, where he photographed many of the ancient monuments of Bukhara.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Группа мужчин, сидящих на коврах за молитвой под подвесными люстрами, внутри мечети

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 30, 2016