The Russian Empire in Color

An amazing set of photographs from throughout the Russian Empire, taken from 1909-1912:

In those years, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images. The high quality of the images, combined with the bright colors, make it difficult for viewers to believe that they are looking 100 years back in time – when these photographs were taken, neither the Russian Revolution nor World War I had yet begun.

There’s a lot of shots in there from Central Asia and the Caucasus and eastern Turkey, besides Russia proper. Truly an incredible record!


One thought on “The Russian Empire in Color

  1. Wow, that is amazing, mysterious, and somewhat disturbing. It’s seems like I’m at in the time period. The second one especially scared me with the man near the creek. Amazing!

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