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Along the Banks of the Volga River

Along the Banks of the Volga River

Masterpieces of the Russian photography of the 19th Century
in the collection of the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg.

The virtual exhibition Along the Banks of the Volga River features over 40 masterpieces, taken by eminent Russia's photographers such as

The works, shown at the exibition, are numerous and varied. What they all have in common are interest and love towards the Volga Riva that has been, and remains one of the major symbols of Russia.

In the second half of the 19th century, photography, a new form of art, became one of the most important sources of visual information. The Volga received much attention of new photo artists who made beautiful images of the greatest river in Russia.

Photography appeared in Russia, as in the rest of the world, back in 1839. It consistently went through all the stages of the technical evolution. The first photographic genre to gain immense popularity was the portrait. However, from the 1860s, it gradually gave way to panoramic and ethnographic photography which was widely used for educational and scientific purposes.

Then, the technical genre arose, as a result of industrial growth and the need to record the various stages of construction work. There was also some interesting explorations when masters tried to combine photography with painting. In 1890, documentary photography and photojournalism began to develop. The new trend emerged in response to the demand to document the current events and rapidly changing life.


Learn more about the Volga Riva

ELENA BARKHOTOVA, Candidate of Science in Art History
Head of the Prints Department