Pavilion near the Kivach Waterfall. Suna River
This photograph shows the Kivach Waterfall on the Suna River, located in the Kondopoga region of Karelia. On the bank above the waterfall is a wooden gazebo set against a background of birch, fir, and other conifers. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many parts of the empire. This support was renewed during World War I, and in 1916 Prokudin-Gorskii photographed work on the Murmansk Railroad, which was built between 1914 and 1917 to connect Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) to the ice-free port of Murmansk. During his work on this project he also photographed nearby natural wonders, such as this waterfall. Because of the multiple exposures required by the Prokudin-Gorskii process, the water in the image appears as a boiling white mass. In 1931 the area around the Kivach Waterfall became one of the earliest nature preserves in the Soviet Union.
Title in Original Language
Беседка у водопада Кивач. [Река Суна]
Type of Item
Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)
- Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.
Last updated: September 23, 2016