Valley of the Western Dagomys River. Fisht Mountain in the Background


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. This photograph was taken in the valley of the West Dagomys River, a branch of the Dagomys River, which originates in the northwestern Caucasus and flows into the Black Sea north of Sochi. The name Dagomys comes from a Cherkess word meaning “cool, shady place.” The area became part of the Russian Empire in 1864 at the conclusion of the Caucasian War. Beginning in the 1870s, the imperial court purchased extensive land for a farm estate in the Dagomys valley. Although the caption for this photograph states that Fisht Mountain is “in the distance,” the conical hill seen here has been identified as Mount Uspenskii, named after Prince Uspenskii, who managed the productive imperial estate. Attractive farm buildings are visible through the trees. The small Dagomys River is on the right. 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

Долина р. Зап. Дагомыс. Вдали гора Фишт

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: October 7, 2016