Iax Agolasky was born 1795 in Russia. On an expedition between 1819 to 1825 to northwestern Russia professor Jean Moltique and Agolasky, acting as personal assistant and interpreter to the professor, found a small community of people living in the forest which they named them Les enfants des ombres (eng. Children of the shadows). Moltique assumed they were descendants of the Paflagonians, an ancient tribe from the inner Asia minor.
In 1862 Agolasky returned to the forest tribe to photograph them. The tribe had moved and were extremely cautious. Iax managed to get in contact only with the children. The few adults who had not been imprisoned by the circuses had a very negative view of other folks. During this second journey Agolasky got very ill and when he returned in 1866 he was restricted to bed for a whole year.
Agolasky, who died in 1868 after a long illness, used the last year of his life making prints of Les enfants des ombres.