From Photographer to Printmaker: Prokudin-Gorskii’s “artistic-photomechanical” illustrations for Gogol’s folk stories
By Barbara Dash
A descendant of Russian nobility, Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) established himself in the early 20th century as a pioneer in the development of color photography. It was his achievements and ingenuity in this field that attracted the support of the tsar, Nicholas II, for Prokudin-Gorskii’s proposed photographic survey of the vast Russian Empire. To aid the photographer’s journeys, the tsar provided a train, with a compartment outfitted for processing the photographs, a steamboat with a full crew, a motor boat, and a Ford Model-T equipped for rough mountain roads. During what would turn out to be the last years of the old Russian Empire, Prokudin-Gorskii produced what he described as natural and artistic photographs of the varied landscapes, architecture, and people of a world soon to be transformed by revolution and war.
Please visit the Library of Congress’ blog, 4 Corners of the World: International Collections to read this article by Rare Materials Cataloger, Barbara Dash.