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. After the end of the Caucasian War in 1864, Russia encouraged settlers to move into the coastal area, which became a part of Chernomorskaia guberniia (Black Sea Province). The imperial court also acquired extensive land near the coast, especially during the reign of Nicholas II. A portion of the land was used to create a large farm and park in the Dagomys River valley near the point where the river empties into the sea. This area of the western Caucasus, which includes Sochi, has a semitropical climate conducive to a wide and exotic floral variety unknown elsewhere in Russia. This view, apparently taken at the Dagomys imperial park, shows an evening moon over the forest hills near the coast of the sea. The photographer frequently created such etudes to demonstrate the richness of his color process and the range and versatility of his photographic technique. 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