Arundo Donax Giant Reed. Used for Making Baskets. Behind Cramoisier Superieur (Bengaliia)


As indicated by the photographer’s caption, this view shows the giant reed (Arundo donax) used in basket weaving, with China rose (Cramoisi superieur) behind it. In the distant background a lone figure walks through the carefully tended hills dotted with fruit trees. The exact location of the photograph is not given, but it may have been in the former Black Sea Province, which included Sochi. This region of the western Caucasus with its semitropical climate along the Black Sea coast was home to exotic floral varieties unknown elsewhere in the  Russian Empire. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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 parts of the empire. In 1905 and again in 1910 he traveled in the western Caucasus. Prokudin-Gorskii often photographed plants to demonstrate the ability of his photographic process to capture a range of colors.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Arundo donax. Употребляется для изготовл. корзин. Сзади Cramoisier superieur (Бенгалия)

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

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

Last updated: September 28, 2016