1973 – Autochromes by Stéphane Passet

In the turbulent year of 1913 Stéphane Passet made this autochrome of the Russian monastery of Panteleimonos. Stéphane François Marie Passet (1875-1941) was an amateur photographer and appointed operator on behalf of the Archives de la Planète (Archives of the Planet). This archival project began thanks to the rich French-based banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn (1860-1940). Biographical elements of Passet remain quite meagre. What is known is that he volunteered in the French Army for fifteen years, settled down in Paris in 1910, and worked for Kahn’s Archives de la Planète from 1912 onwards. He made several trips among others to China and in 1913 to Greece.In 2015 the waterfront building has disappeared. I suspect that this was the hospital for the Russian monks. Anyone who can confirm that?
Today everything is renovated, almost as new, but on the autochrome parts of the walls of the guesthouse along the coast are blackened. Could this be the soot of the stoves?This autochrome by Passet shows a part of the Lavra courtyard in the direction of the mountain itself. On the right the katholicon and on the left the 3 arches of the graves of the patriarchs.The graves of the Patriarchs in 1986. Photo is made by Wim Voogd on his second trip to Mount Athos.The entrance of Docheiariou in 1913 by Passet. This time he asked the monks to pose for him. Two monks on balconies and a few of them in front of the entrance. They had to keep their bodies motionless for a while to prevent that their image became blurry. The blue room on the right used to be a quest chamber with a very nice view. Maybe it still is.When my brother Wim made this photo in 1989,  again two monks (balcony left and main entrance) are more or less posing for the photographer. The angle is somewhat different but the nice blue room is clearly insight. The cypress has grown over the years.
Herman Voogd

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