Along the Road to Gagra
In the spring of 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed extensively in the Caucasus, including the resort of Gagra on the Black Sea coast of the region of Abkhazia, located in the northern part of Georgia. Much of the Transcaucasian area was dominated by the Ottoman Empire during the the 16th century. In 1810, the Ottomans were expelled from the area, but the Russian settlement at Gagra remained isolated and subject to attack from Circassian warriors. In 1864, Abkhazia was formally annexed by the Russian Empire. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, Gagra was briefly occupied and sacked by the Turks. Seen here is a small homestead, probably near the village of Koldavarkha some eight kilometers inland from Gagra. The stuccoed house has a shingled roof. To the right is a tall rack for drying hay. A wooden shed for livestock abuts the house to the left. A small plot for a garden and pasturage is nestled at the foot of the forested slope. 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
По дор. в Гагры
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: November 1, 2016