Triglolastochka, or Sea Rooster. Batumi
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 Georgia, where he photographed the landscape and architecture found in the mountainous interior as well as resorts along the Black Sea coast. Of special interest to him was the southern region of Ach’ara and its port of Batumi near the Turkish border. Batumi entered the Russian Empire in 1878 following the Treaty of San Stefano and became a duty-free port as well as a favored resort. Batumi was also an ancient fishing center, whose waters sheltered fish such as this tub gurnard (Trigla lucerna). A bottom-dwelling predator of shallow coastal waters, the fish reaches a maximum length of 75 centimeters, with a maximum weight of six kilograms. It has a bony armored head, and along its back is a sharp spiny dorsal fin. Strong pectoral fins—dramatically spread in this view—are used for propulsion along the sea floor. The range of this fish extends from Norway to the eastern shore of the Black Sea. Locally the fish is also called the “sea rooster” (morskoi petukh). 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
Триглоласточка или морской петух. Батум
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