In the Mountains near the Bakalskii Mine
In 1909 and 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled extensively in the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural landscapes. This photograph highlights Alexander Mountain (Aleksandrovskaia sopka) near Urzhumka Station (now part of the town of Zlatoust in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast). Formerly called Ural Mountain, it was renamed to honor Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich (the future Tsar Alexander II), who climbed the peak in June 1837. Straddling the boundary between Europe and Asia, Alexander Mountain is 843 meters high and is composed of ancient metamorphic rock, including quartzite. The craggy cliffs support a variety of conifer trees. Because of erosion and sharp temperature fluctuations, the slopes are covered with stone runs known as kurumy. A tall haystack stands in the freshly-cut field in the foreground, surrounded by birch and pine tree. 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
В горах у Бакальского рудника
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