This 1910 photograph is the “View of Kasli” by photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. Kasli, now in present day Chelyabinsk Oblast. I find this picture fascinating as it’s description pointed out the predominate points of the image, and the town, to be the massive churches (two on the left in the background, and in looking at the shadow in the foreground, it can be assumed the photographer was in another large church taking this photograph. This shows the predominance and focus on Eastern Orthodoxy Christianity, and the strength of the Church. Especially in comparison with the majority of the town, which primarily composed of wood houses with small farm plots, and an iron foundry. I believe this picture vividly illustrates a divide in social classes in prerevolutionary Russia, classes of workers living in small close quarters, while being shadowed by the power of organized Christianity
On a more artistic note, I found the colors in this photograph to be extremely well done, especially the blue of the lake on the right, and the red metal roofing.
Source: The World Digital Library. “View of Kasli.” https://www.wdl.org/en/item/5248/#q=Prokudin-Gorskii+kasli&qla=en accessed January 20, 2017.
3 thoughts on “View of Kasli”
I really enjoy how you pointed out how powerful the church is in this time. It greatly dominated life. Thinking about how often images of churches or monasteries appear throughout Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii’s work further proves your point about the domination that the church held. Also, the sheer size of the churches compared to their surroundings further shows the massive importance that the church holds.
The role of the church is very interesting to follow in this period of Russian history. I never noticed a social divide until you pointed it out. You noted that the workers were living in the shadow of organized Christianity, keep that in mind when we get into the ideology and policy of communism. Additionally, I am very interested to know what became of that town and church following the Bolshevik Revolution. Great post!
Garrett, your comments on the prominence and grandeur of the Church are correct. The Eastern Orthodox Church was in full power at the time, and was the center of Imperial Russian society. The complexity of the Church compared to the small houses demonstrates the importance of religion during this time.