December 23, 2011

In Little Russia i.e. Ukraine

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. 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 Little Russia i.e. Ukraine

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. 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 Little Russia i.e. Ukraine

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. 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.

Dome of the Namazga Mosque. Samarkand

Shown here is the Namazga Mosque, located on the southern outskirts of Samarkand. Built as early as the 11th century in another location, the mosque was rebuilt in the 1630s by Nadir Divan-Begi. Its name refers to a form of ritual worship in Islam—Namaz (in Persian), or Salah (in Arabic). The mosque was dedicated to the Eid al-Fitr holiday, observed at the end of the Ramadan fast. The main facade consists of an arcade centered on a large iwan (entrance arch) leading to the main structure. The mosque culminates in a dome supported by a high cylinder. The photograph shows modest polychrome tile decoration on the facade and the cylinder. At the top of the dome is a stork’s nest. 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. Prokudin-Gorskii was particularly interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), which he visited on a number of occasions, including a trip in January 1907 that focused on the ancient city of Samarkand.

Dome of the Gur-Emir Mosque. Samarkand

Shown here is Gur-Emir ("tomb of the ruler") in Samarkand, the burial place of the great Timur (Tamerlane). Timur began the shrine in 1403 in memory of his beloved grandson Muhammad Sultan. Following Timur's own death from pneumonia in 1405, his body was also placed in the structure, which became the mausoleum of the Timurids. It was completed by another of Timur's grandsons, the astronomer-king Ulugh Beg. This overcast view from the east side shows severe damage to the ceramic ornamentation of the ribbed dome. The cylinder beneath the dome and the facades of the structure are adorned with sacred inscriptions as well as intricate geometric and floral patterns. 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. Prokudin-Gorskii was particularly interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), which he visited on a number of occasions, including trips in January 1907 and again in 1911 that focused the ancient city of Samarkand.

Exit from the Gur-Emir Mosque. Samarkand

Among Samarkand’s major monuments is Gur-Emir ("tomb of the ruler"), the burial place of the great Timur (Tamerlane). Timur began the shrine in 1403 in memory of his beloved grandson Muhammad Sultan. Following Timur's own death from pneumonia in 1405, his body was also placed in the structure, which became the mausoleum of the Timurids. This winter view shows the entrance structure facing the mausoleum. Although much damaged, the facades retain fragments of polychrome ceramic ornamentation, including a vertical strip of rosette tiles, geometric and floral motifs, and an attached column (probably glazed, carved terra cotta). 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. Prokudin-Gorskii was particularly interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), which he visited on a number of occasions, including trips in January 1907 and again in 1911 that focused on the ancient city of Samarkand.