This book presents previously unpublished photo material that paints a vivid picture of life in the Russian Empire in the 19th century. In the 1860s and ’70s the Tsar hired photographers to systematically document various facets of life across the vast Russian realm using the new medium: different classes of society, peoples, landscapes, cities, industrial projects, customs and traditions, wars and prisons. Since photography was mostly used at the time for private or commercial purposes, these pictures represent an interesting special case in social history, functioning in a sense as visual counterparts to the Russian realist literature of that era. Although the documentary projects were supported by official authorities, the photographs nonetheless provide a realistic, illusion-free glimpse of prerevolutionary Russia.
The more than 300 photos in this volume, from five Russian museums and two private lenders, are published for the first time, providing insights on a still little-known epoch in the development of the medium of photography.
Editor: ZKM Karlsruhe
Authors: Anastasia Khoroshilova, Boris Groys, Galina Dlushnewskaja, Jelena Barchatowa, Karina Solowjowa, Peter Weibel, Swetlana Artamonowa
21,5 x 23,4 cm
375 color and duotone ills.