Shokhanka River near the City of Ples


In the late summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made a trip down the Volga River from Uglich to Yaroslavl. During the trip, he photographed the town of Pl’os, picturesquely located on the river’s high right bank. First mentioned in medieval chronicles under the year 1141, Pl’os served as a fortified point with surveillance over an extended stretch of the Volga. For much of the 19th century, the town served as a major port for the region’s booming textile plants. Later, Pl’os became a destination for artists who favored its picturesque location. Seen here from a promontory is the small Shokhonka River (a right tributary of the Volga), which separates the main part of town from a district known as Zarechye (“beyond the river”), located to the left of this view. In the foreground is a tidy bridge with a picket fence on stone abutments. In the distance is a log dam for a water mill. The birches on the forested hills show a touch of fall color in this September view. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire on the eve of the Russian Revolution. 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 different parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Река Шоханка около г. Плеса

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: January 11, 2017