Part of Grebeshki Rock. Chusovaia River


Originating in the southern Urals, the Chusovaia River flows some 590 kilometers to the northwest and empties into the Kama River near the city of Perm. Bounded by high rocky cliffs, the Chusovaia was known for its dramatic scenery and high rocky cliffs, many of which were given names. Shown in this photograph is Grebeshka (coxcomb) Rock, located on the left bank near the village of Kamenka (Sverdlovsk Oblast). Such features are created by outcroppings of sedimentary rock, a karst formation typical of the western Urals. The rocks are covered with a dense forest of fir, pine, and birch. 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 made several trips to the Ural Mountains and surrounding territories, where he photographed railroad installations and factories as well as picturesque locations. In 1912 he traveled along the Chusovaia River as part of a trip to western Siberia via the Kama-Tobolsk Waterway.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Часть камня Гребешки. Река Чусовая

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: July 9, 2015