L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, June 3, 2018

In the quiet days before the storm - autochromes by Piotr Vedenisov, 1909-14

Tanya, Natasha, Kolya, and Lisa Kozakova, Vera Nikolaevna Vedenisova and Elena Franzevna Basileva, Yalta, 1910.

Piotr Ivanovich Vedenisov (1866-1937), Russian nobleman, professional pianist, amateur actor and photographer. After graduating from the Moscow Conservatory in 1888, he moved to Yalta, where he soon became an important part of the cultural life of the area. He studied the local lore and lectured on the history of the Crimea. He helped organize musical and literary evenings. He studied meteorology. He became friends with the likes of Chekhov, Gorky, and Chaliapin. But outside of music, his greatest interest was photography. He became a master of the Autochome, an early color photographic process, patented by the Lumière brothers in 1903 and first marketed in 1907.

About 150 of his Autochromes survive to this day, all created in a period of five short years, from 1909 to 1914. His work is peopled with his family and close relations - his wife, Vera Nikolaevna, her mother Elena Basileva, and their relatives, the Kozakov family: Andrei Aleksandrovich, Sofya Nikolaevna and their five children - and his friends and fellow musicians. The main themes of these poetic images are daily life - picnics, excursions, dress-up, feasts - and the landscapes of Yalta and Simbirsk Province, where the Kozakovs lived.

Vera Kozakova in  folk dress, 1914. (Two images.)
"Cossack from the Emperor's convoy." (Some of the borderless images, here, look to be copies rather than originals, and the quality has been affected.)
Vera Nikolaevna Vedenisova, the photographer's wife, in folk dress. (Two images.)
Yalta, 1910s.
Yalta, 1914.
"At the fountain."
Andrei Aleksandrovich Kozakov, Yalta, 1911-1912.
Tanya, Vera, and Lisa Kozakova.
Vera Nikolaevna Vedenisova, the photographer's wife.
New Year tree, decorated with national flags of different countries, Nikolskoe, Simbirsk Province, 1911.
Vera Nikolaevna Vedenisova, the photographer's wife, at right.
Vera Nikolaevna Vedenisova, the photographer's wife.
Vera Nikolaevna Vedenisova, the photographer's wife.
"The conductor [leader?] of the mountain club."
Natasha Kozakova (?).
"Not far from Yalta."
"Taurien morning." The Taurida - various spellings - Oblast (province) included most of the Crimea and parts of  Southern Ukraine.
Nikolskoe, Simbirsk Province.
Vera Kozakova (?).
Natasha Kozakova (?), Yalta, 1910.
Tanya and Lisa Kozakova, Yalta, 1910.
"Spring of 1910 in the Crimea."
Kolya Kozakov and the dog Gipsy, Yalta, 1910-1911.


  1. wonderful...Is this process still done?

    1. I don't know. Certainly not often. But I expect someone could figure out how to do it if they wanted to. : )