Oklads & Prokudin-Gorsky

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Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky was a pioneering photographer best known for his astonishing colour photographs of life in the Russian Empire from 1905-1915. His body of work is an invaluable record of what is now a vanished way of life in Russia. I was moved to see this photograph of his on Twitter, not least because icon oklads are important in my novel, Olga’s Egg. The oklads look so strange and other-worldly without the painted images of the icons over which they are placed. The silhouettes of the Saints are striking, and memorable – like an image imprinted on the eye when looking up at an over-powering sun. Much of Prokudin-Gorsky’s body of work can be viewed online here at the Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/

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