Bust of Jesus


This bust of Jesus was photographed in the museum in Tver, an ancient city on the Volga River to the northwest of Moscow. The museum opened in 1866, and featured natural and archeological items of interest from the area as well as works of art, such as this marble bust of Christ. In 1897 the museum was allocated rooms in the Imperial Transit Palace. In 1918 it was nationalized and granted state protection. In 1921 it was allotted the entire space of the Transit Palace, where it remained until World War II. During the German occupation of Tver in the fall of 1941, the museum was severely damaged and ransacked, with the loss of most of its holdings. It is therefore likely that many of its objects, such as this one photographed in 1910, did not survive. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Бюст Иисуса

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: July 9, 2015