Orto-Batumi. On the Road to the Water Intake


In 1905 Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in the Caucasus region. In the spring of 1912 he returned to the area for extensive travel in Georgia, where he photographed the dramatic landscape and architecture found in the mountainous interior as well as resorts such as Borjomi, located in the Borjomi Gorge in south-central Georgia. Long occupied by the Ottoman Empire, the Borjomi area came under Russian control in the 1820s and was subsequently developed into a resort widely known for its waters. Seen in this photograph taken from the Vorontsov Plateau is a mountain ridge covered in conifer trees and with massive exposed flanks of sedimentary rock. In the foreground is a pine tree plantation. The plateau is named for Prince Mikhail Vorontsov (1782–1856), a leading figure in the Russian assimilation of the Caucasus. The emulsion surfaces of the glass negatives for this photograph show extensive damage, including fingerprints. 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

Орто-Батум. По пути к водоприемнику

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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