This photo was taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, in the Mugan Steppe area of the outer Caucasus region of the Russian Empire (Modern Day Azerbaijan). The photo depicts a “traditional Ukrainian house” built by peasant settlers, who moved to the outskirts of the Empire in hopes of finding arable and livable farming land on which they could make a living. In the background, you can see two women that, after a closer look, appear to be working on some sort of fence or wall to their property.
I thought this photo was intriguing because it highlights the great contrast in architecture in the different areas of the Russian Empire. In one far reach of the Empire (the Caucasus and Black Sea region) the architecture appears to be much more primitive and rural (Hut of a Settler). As can be seen in other photos taken from the Caucasus region by Prokudin-Gorskii, the architecture is very similar to the “Hut of a Settler” picture. Contrast this to Prokudin-Gorskii’s “Spaso-Evfrosinevskii Monastery for Women, Three Versts from the City of Polotsk” photograph (Photo above the paragraph), taken in modern-day Belarus, in which the architecture is very polished, bright, and culturally significant. This contrast could potentially highlight not only a difference in architecture, but also a difference in culture, wealth, and significance to the Russian empire itself.
Prokudin-Gorskii, S. M. (1970, January 01). Mugan. Hut of a Settler from Kharkov Province. Grafovka. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from https://www.wdl.org/en/item/304/#contributors=Prokudin-Gorskii%2C Sergei Mikhailovich%2C 1863-1944
Prokudin-Gorskii, S. M. (1970, January 01). Spaso-Evfrosinevskii Monastery for Women, Three Versts from the City of Polotsk. View from the South. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from https://www.wdl.org/en/item/254/#contributors=Prokudin-Gorskii%2C Sergei Mikhailovich%2C 1863-1944