Chernaia River


Seen here is the small Chernaya Rechka (Black River) near the town of Tsagveri in the Borjomi region of Georgia. Tsagveri is located on the north face of the Trialeti Range (seen in the background), which extends to the city of Tbilisi. The range is composed primarily of igneous rock created by volcanic activity. The jagged peaks and sheer cliffs are covered with pine, spruce, and fir, as well as other conifers and some deciduous trees. 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. Prokudin-Gorskii traveled to the Caucasus in 1905. He returned to the region in 1912 for extensive travel in Georgia, where he photographed the dramatic landscape.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Черная речка

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