Russia in Color: Photos of Life Before the Revolution

The photographs of Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky provide a fascinating study of the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915. They will be especially interesting with ancestors from these paces as the photos show the every-day lives of the Russians. Unlike most photographs of that period, Prokudin-Gorsky’s photos are in color.

Russian settlers in what is now Azerbaijan, 1910

As stated on the web site displaying the photographs:

“A pioneering chemist and photographer who created an early method for developing pictures in color, Prokundin-Grosky got assistance from Tsar Nicholas II himself to take a groundbreaking trip across Russia from 1909 to 1915 in a railcar with a specially designed dark room. His mission was to document the far reaches of the Empire. Now, his photographs offer an invaluable glimpse of everyday life teetering on the edge of the Great War and the Russian Revolution.”

You can see these fascinating photographs at Scroll down to see all the photographs.


Remarkable color for over 100 years ago. Very well preserved too. Thanks for posting them.


The color is amazing…. and makes me realize that old time photos are flat…… thanks for sharing.


The entire Prokudin-Gorskii collection (over 2000 pictures) has been on the Library of Congress site for several years. It is not as “polished” as the Getty selection, but has many good features, including several download options.


Wow these photos are stunning, such vibrant and high quality images considering they are over 100 years old!


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