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From tea plantations in Georgia to melon markets in Uzbekistan: Remarkable colour photos capture the dying days of the sprawling Russian Empire

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 02/09/2018 Charlie Moore For Mailonline

a group of people around each other: Ethnic Russian settlers in Grafovka in the Mugan steppe region in present-day Azerbaijan in 1910. Throughout the 19th century and early 20th century the tsar and his advisers encouraged ethnic Russians to settle in the Caucasus and in Central Asia, where they played a key role in Russification and maintaining loyalty to Moscow

Ethnic Russian settlers in Grafovka in the Mugan steppe region in present-day Azerbaijan in 1910. Throughout the 19th century and early 20th century the tsar and his advisers encouraged ethnic Russians to settle in the Caucasus and in Central Asia, where they played a key role in Russification and maintaining loyalty to Moscow
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited
A remarkable series of colour photographs taken more than 100 years ago paint a fascinating picture of the dying days of the Russian Empire. 

Between 1905 and 1915 Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, a pioneer of colour photography, travelled the empire by railway, chronicling the lives of the many different peoples who lived under the rule of Tsar Nicholas II.

The chemist and photographer was sponsored by the tsar himself to document the far reaches of the empire on a journey in which he captured the traditions and cultures soon to disappear after the Russian Revolution of 1917. 

Prokudin-Gorsky moved to Paris after the tsar was overthrown and executed. When he died aged 81 in 1944, his entire collection was bought from his son by the US Library of Congress.

The Russian Empire was the third largest empire in world history, surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires.

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