South Front of the Kremlin from the Old Bridge

Roger FentonSeptember 1852

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Towers, walls, and turrets recede into the distance as far as the eye can see. The strong diagonal composition formed from Moscow's architecture is reinforced by the river bank and the sweep of barges in the foreground. To achieve this view, Roger Fenton set up his camera on a bridge across from the Moscow River. On the left, beyond the expanse of the river and a slender water tower, stands the recently completed Great Palace of the Kremlin. The octagonal bell tower of Ivan the Great rises just above and to the right. Another sixteenth-century building, the Cathedral of the Archangel, neighbors the bell tower.

In September 1852, Fenton-who had only taken up photography a few months earlier-traveled to Russia with an acquaintance who was constructing a bridge for Czar Nicholas I. Perhaps recognizing that he was one of the first photographers to train his camera on Russia, Fenton made views of Moscow and St. Petersburg, capturing the distinct architectural character of each city. The cityscapes in this series are the earliest surviving photographs of Russia.


  • Title: South Front of the Kremlin from the Old Bridge
  • Creator: Roger Fenton
  • Date Created: September 1852
  • Location Created: Moscow, Russia
  • Physical Dimensions: 18.4 × 21.4 cm (7 1/4 × 8 7/16 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Salted paper print from a paper negative
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 84.XO.1343.16
  • Culture: English
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Roger Fenton (English, 1819 - 1869)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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