A General's Dacha


From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural scenes. In 1909 and 1910 he photographed extensively in the Urals region, including the city of Yekaterinburg (named Sverdlovsk 1924–91). This photograph was taken in a resort area known as General’s Dacha, located to the north of City Pond. The park was formed in the 1830s, when a pond dam was constructed on the small Ol’khovka River, a tributary of the Iset’ River. Large wooden dachas were built in the area, but when Prokudin-Gorskii visited, it had become rather neglected. The two-story dacha seen here is surrounded by a dense growth of pine and birch trees. In front of the home is a wooden bathing shed and to the right, a pier with a rustic railing. Seen in the right background is an arched bridge built in the style of Western landscape parks. Despite their dilapidated state, these modest structures look beautiful as reflected here in the still waters of the pond. In 1927, this area was renamed Proletarian Dachas. It is now occupied by a large housing development. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his 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 different parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Генеральская дача

Type of Item

Physical Description

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 28, 2016