Along the Banks of the Volga River
Masterpieces of the Russian photography from the second half of the 19th century
in the collection of the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg.
The small-size photos taken in the early 1870s by the artist Stepan Vishnevsky from Astrakhan, are grouped by subject. Some of them are romantic views of Astrakhan that used to be called "Venice of Asia". Astrakhan is built on islands separated by numerous canals and tributaries of the Volga – which is how the city got its poetic name. Other photographs feature local people – the Kyrgyz and the Kalmyk. A large number are studio portraits showing models in traditional costumes, dancing or playing musical instruments. But there are also photos depicting people in their natural environment: in the steppe, near their nomad tents, marquees and camels.