Kasli Settlements with the Lake


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. Among the towns Prokudin-Gorskii visited in 1909 was Kasli (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast). Kasli had a number of metalworking plants, including a large iron foundry that still functions and is renowned for its cast iron work. This view to the northwest was taken from the Church of the Dormition. The photograph shows rows of largely wooden houses with backyards containing vegetable gardens, sheds, and barns. Also visible are brick houses painted white. Of particular interest is the near courtyard on the left, which is bounded by a long brick building that might include a store. The courtyard is enclosed by a two-story building (probably for living quarters) with a gallery. Most of the houses have pitched metal roofs typical of factory towns in the Urals. Beyond is Big Kasli Lake, with the low forested hills of the southern Urals in the background. 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

Каслинския поселения с озером

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