Curve in the Railway at the Viazovaia 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. This photograph shows a bend in the Iurezan’ River at Viazovaia Hill (on right) near the railway station at Viazovaia (present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast). Viazovaia is located on what was then called the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad (built in 1885–90; now the Ufa-Chelyabinsk line). Because of an unexpected snowstorm, the caption of this photograph has a precise date (unusual in this collection): September 12, 1909—or the 25th according to the Western calendar, which was 13 days ahead of the Julian calendar used at the time in Russia. The Iuriuzan (as it is now spelled) originates near Mount Mashak in the southern Urals and flows 400 kilometers to the Ufa River (part of the Volga basin) in Bashkorstan. The hills in the background are covered with yellow birch and conifer trees that are reflected in the dark waters. 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
Закругление железнодорожнаго пути у ст. Вязовой
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