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Who was Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky? Russian photographer revealed as Google Doodle remembers him

Who was Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky? Russian photographer revealed as Google Doodle remembers him

  • Google has honored Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky in the latest Google Doodle
  • Prokudin-Gorsky helped to pioneer color photography in the early 20th century
  • His groundbreaking photos helped to document life in Russia in the early 1900s

A century ago, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky became well-known for his pioneering work in advancing color photography.

Now, Google has honored Prokudin-Gorsky on what would’ve been the influential photographer and chemist’s 155th birthday on August 30, 2018 with a new Google Doodle.

Here’s all you need to know about who he was and also what a Google Doodle is. 

Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky was well-known for his revolutionary color photography techniques

Who was Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky?

Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky was a chemist and photographer known for his revolutionary work with color photography in the early 20th century.

He was born in Funikova Gora in the former Russian Empire on August 30, 1863 to parents of Russian nobility and a family that included a long history of military service.

After relocating to the city of Saint Petersburg, Prokudin-Gorsky studied chemistry at the Saint Petersburg State Institute of Technology and also studied painting and music at the Imperial Academy of Arts.

He soon joined the Imperial Russian Technical Society and became interested in photography, later establishing his own photography lab and studio in 1901 in Saint Petersburg.

Not long afterwards, Prokudin-Gorsky studied color sensitization in Germany in 1902 and began to apply his knowledge of chemistry to his own photography, pioneering the three-color principle technique to greatly advance color photography.

Prokudin-Gorsky soon became known for his extensive portfolio of color photographs cataloguing life in early 20th century Russia, later obtaining permission and funding to document the country in color photography after impressing Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1909 with his photo collection.

In this capacity, Prokudin-Gorsky amassed a collection of more than 10,000 color photographs of Russia in the early 1900s, offering important historical records concerning the nation’s people, architecture, landscapes and everyday life during the time period.

In addition to his pioneering work in color photography, Prokudin-Gorsky also served as president of the photography section of the Imperial Russian Technical Society starting in 1906 and was a member of the Royal Photographic Society in the UK from 1920 to 1932.

Prokudin-Gorsky died in Paris on September 27, 1944 at age 81, though his groundbreaking work in advancing color photography and documenting life in early 20th century Russia played a key role in both art and history that still resonates today.

What is a Google Doodle?

A Google Doodle is a temporary change to the homepage logo on Google’s website to reflect a significant anniversary, event, accomplishment, individual and the likes.

First introduced back in 1998 to recognize the Burning Man festival, Google Doodles were initially created by Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and later by a group of outside contractors. Eventually, a special in-house team called Doodlers was establish to create them more consistently.

Many Google Doodles nowadays recognize holidays like St Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve. They’re also frequently used to commemorate notable individuals like Leonard Bernstein or to mark key events such as Ukraine Independence Day and Hungary State Foundation Day.