In the Borodino Museum. Borodino
On September 7, 1812, during the invasion of Russia by Emperor Napoleon I of France, Russian and French armies clashed on the Borodino battlefield, situated to the west of Moscow. Although the battlefield became a revered site already in the 1820s and the first major monument was unveiled in 1839, the first museum at Borodino was opened only in 1903 at the initiative of P. Bogdanovich, the Borodino stationmaster. The museum exhibits, such as these photographed in 1911, were originally housed in the railroad station. Visible here in arrangement on the station floor are battlefield relics, including several cannonballs (both stone and iron), a bayonet, musket balls, a powder funnel, crosses, buttons, coins, and a gilded statue of Napoleon. To the right are remnants of a breastplate. 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 parts of the empire. In connection with the centenary of the 1812 Napoleonic campaign against Russia, Prokudin-Gorskii photographed sites along the invasion route in 1911 and 1912.
Title in Original Language
В Бородинском музее. Бородино
Type of Item
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: July 9, 2015