Excavation near the Mountain at Zlatoust Station
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 September 1909 was Zlatoust, located in the northwest part of present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast. Named in honor of Saint John Chrysostom (“golden-tongued,” or zlatoust), the town was founded in 1754 and became a center of finished metalworking. Further development in the town came with the completion of a railroad line from Samara in 1890, and the beginning of work on the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1891. This photograph shows a cutting through a hillside for the double tracks near Zlatoust Station. In the background is a stone viaduct. Because of the limited visibility on the curved tracks, signal posts were erected on the hillside to the right. The technical nature of this beautifully composed photograph can be attributed to the needs of the sponsor of the photographer, the Ministry of Transportation. 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.
Title in Original Language
Выемка в горе около станции Златоуст
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 28, 2016