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