City Scene through Trees, Mountains in Background


Seen here is an artistic vista of the town of Zlatoust, located in the northwest part of present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast. Named in honor of Saint John Chrysostom (“Golden-Tongued,” or zlatoust), Zlatoust was founded in 1754 and became a center of finished metal production, including armaments. This view, framed by two pines, was taken in the fall of 1909 from Butylovka Mountain. Obscured by the right pine is the Church of the Three Prelates (also known as Saint Nicholas), which has not survived. In the center is the former Women’s High School, now used as an arts school. In the background at right are sloping fields. 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 photographed extensively in the Ural Mountains region, a major source of ores and a center of the Russian metal industry.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Вид города сквозь деревья, вдали горы

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