Historical Colored Photos Of Russia Before The Revolution (1905-1915)
Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky was a famous Russian chemist and photographer. Born in 1963 in Murom, Vladimir Province, Russia, Prokudin-Gorsky not only took pictures of important people in Russian history but was also a pioneer in the use of color photography.
1905-1915. Full-length profile portrait of a woman, possibly Turkman or Kirgiz, standing on a carpet at the entrance to a yurt, dressed in traditional clothing and jewelry.photo: Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky | Library Of Congress
He became a famous photographer in Russia after his Leo Tolstoy colored portrait. His work of Tolstoy was widely distributed in different publications. In 1908, he earned a commendation after Russian Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich and Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna invited him to show his famous colored portrait and his earlier photos of Russia’s nature and monuments.
He was also invited to demonstrate his works to the family of Tsar Nicholas II. The royal family liked his photographs and his presentation so much that he was given a fund and authority to pursue his photographic journey and to document Russia in color. The project assigned by the Tsar was later described as his life’s work.
The technique behind Prokudin-Gorsky’s color photography was advance for its time. He made it possible by using the three-color principle in which he captured three separate photographs with the same subject using three different colored filters - red, green, and blue. When the three exposures were combined through a chromoscope, it appeared to be a real colored photograph to the viewer.
After the October Revolution, he left Russia in 1918 and travelled to Norway, England and later settled with his family in Paris. Before leavingRussia however, half of his photographic materials were confiscated and destroyed by the authorities who believed these were strategically sensitive during war time.