Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made a number of trips to the Caucasus region, including one in the summer of 1912. On this trip, he photographed extensively along the coast of the Black Sea in the area of Sochi. Beginning in the 1870s, the imperial court began to purchase land for a large estate and park in the valley of the Dagomys River. By the turn of the 20th century, the surrounding territory had been cultivated for the construction of imposing residences. Among them was the dacha of Evgenii V. Pavlov (1845–1916), located at the village of Uch-Dere. Pavlov was a professor and prominent surgeon in Saint Petersburg with connections to the imperial family. The attractive two-story house was surrounded by manicured grounds containing semitropical ornamental shrubs. Among the plants shown here are hybrid tea roses, including one attached to a stake and pruned for maximum visual effect at the top. This variety can reach two meters in height, depending on growing conditions and pruning. Coastal hills are visible in the background of this image. 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
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: October 7, 2016