Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (born in 1863 in Murom) was a pioneer of photography in Russia and a pioneer of color photography. Very little has been written about his life history. Like so many of the artists and architects of pre-revolutionary Russia, he has been forgotten, leaving a blank space in the history of photography that remains to this day.
Prokudin-Gorskii was given the task of capturing the old Russia in images, on behalf of Czar Nicolas II in 1909. This made him a witness to change. With his color photographs, he created extensive documentation, a remembrance of a space and a time that were about to vanish forever.
The period during which Prokudin-Gorskii worked -- the late 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century -- was a period of social, political and technological upheavals. Some of these changes were slow to establish themselves, and their future consequences could therefore barely be guesses at; others, however, could not be ignored. The old Russia of Tolstoi and Chekhov was gradually passing away.
"Nostalgia" is currently on exhibit at Gestalten, Berlin.
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