Chains and Change

The selected photograph displays the actual bindings used on Mikhail Nikitich Romanov, the uncle of Tsar Mikhail Romanov. Mikhail was elected into power in 1613 and was the first of the Romanov line. He became a symbol of unity and political strength after a period in Russia known as the “Time of Troubles” in which the country experienced political instability, famine, and foreign invasion. I was drawn to this picture because like in the early 1600’s, late 19th century Russia was facing internal disorder that would lead to a major shift in power. Similarly, the Great Reforms of Russia illuminated the weakness of the government, lack of industrialization, and frailty of their economy that transformed the balance of power, this time to the people. The podium dedicated to Mikhail Nikitich Romanov represents a time of Russian instability, but other meanings may appear as we see how Russia converts from the Romanov dynasty to the Soviet Union. shackles

One thought on “Chains and Change

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  1. You’re right – even though it wasn’t entirely evident when Prokudin-Gorskii took this photograph, Russia was indeed about to enter a new “Time of Troubles”


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