Exotic images of Central Asia by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky

A Russian chemist and photographer, Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky, accompanying the Russian Geographic Society set off to Samarkand in late 1906 in order to take the pictures of solar eclipse of Tien-Shan mountains with his newly mastered color-photographing technique. Unfortunately, due to the cloudy day he was unable to observe the eclipse, but the photographer took advantage of the opportunity and started documenting nearby Samarkand. This failure left us invaluable vivid images of Samarkand of the time and its inhabitants.

Ulugh Beg madrasah

Inside courtyard of the Sher-Dor madrassa

Monks from the Kalanderhane order of Sufis

The last emir of Bukhara, Mohammed Alim Khan

A group of musicians


Bread sellers

A woman in a burka

Water carrier