Cliff near the Village of Tokorevka


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. Although Prokudin-Gorskii is best-known for his photographs of people and historic buildings, he also took photos of striking geographical features. This 1909 photograph shows a massive outcropping of rock at the village of Tokarevka (pronounced Tokaryovka), located on the right (west) bank of the Iset’ River southeast of Ekaterinburg. Tokarevka is situated opposite the point where the small Kamenka River enters the Iset’. The exposed and weathered Tokarevka Rock appears to be an igneous formation (probably granite) that is typical of the eastern Urals. Birch trees have found a foothold in eroded soil at the base of the rock. Perched on the slope, the impoverished village consists of modest log houses with sheds and small barns, some of which have thatched roofs. At the lower right is a vegetable garden. The hilly terrain here limited the cultivation of larger crops. 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

Скала около деревни Токоревки

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

Last updated: September 28, 2016