The Volga rises near Tver (NW Russia) and its long journey to the Caspian Sea takes in many different regions and peoples. It is one of the worlds major rivers and regarded by Russians as something of an icon. Eulogised by numerous poets and writers, it was also a favourite subject for the first great Russian photographers. The albums left by M.P. Nastukov, I. Raoult, V.A. Karrik, K. Vishnevsky, M.P. Dimitriev, A.O. Karelyn, E. Byshnyakov and J. Barshchevsky vividly re-create contemporary landscapes, town and market scenes and the life and customs of various ethnic populations Kalmuks, Chuvash, Mordvinians, Tatars, Bashirs. The collection, with its remarkable insight and rare sense of the poetic, plunges us into the heart of pre-Revolutionary Russia. A magnificent collection of photos lent by the State Library of St. Petersburg to the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique.

Available in one volume French/Dutch