The collection of photo documents of the Moscow Kremlin Museums numbers over 8,5 thousand photographs and photogravures from the period of the second half of the XIXth century to our days.

In 1860s, the collections of the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Armoury Chamber (the Library division) and cathedrals’ vestries were filled up with the new type of art - photographs. These were photos of interiors of the Kremlin cathedrals and palaces, of reliquiae and artworks preserved in the Kremlin. All of them were made by the order of Moscow Palace Administration or Synod Office. Other items, such as the sights of lands, towns, buildings and treasure-houses of Russia and other countries, were purchased or received as gifts. In 1920s, the Kremlin Monuments Department, headed by N.N. Pomerantsev, played an essential role in the fund’s preservation and replenishment.

Photos of the Moscow Kremlin were done by such eminent Russian masters as M.P. Nastyukov, I.F. Barshchevsky, M.M. Panov, I.I. Gribov, P.P. Pavlov and others. Pictures, made during the repair and restoration works, form the major part of the collection. The earliest photographs of this kind represent the uncovering of frescoes of the Annunciation Cathedral and pictures icons of the main iconostasis of the Assumption Cathedral during the restoration of 1882-1883. There are also separate views of other towns and lands, from the Solovetsky Monastery and Belovezhskaya Pushcha to Georgia and Tashkent.

The collection includes photo-portraits of famous painters and jewelers, whose works are presented in the museum - M.E. Perkhin and F.G. Solntsev.

Pictures made by foreign photographers are also represented in the collection. The main part of was brought from the Grand Kremlin Palace. The photo-album “A walk in the Bois de Boulogne” presented to Alexander III in the year of his coronation from Parisian atelier “Photographie Hippique”. Paris high society is represented on the pictures in it.

Several amateur pictures of the members of the Imperial Family are also brought from the Grand Kremlin Palace.

The photographs, preserved in the museum, show events, buildings and objects which later disappeared or suffered big change, not only in the Kremlin, but also in Moscow and the whole Russia. These pictures are an interesting historical source, as many of them are great works of the photographic art.


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