Photos of the House of Romanov’s final ball now in color

Archive photo colored by Klimbim
Russian artist Olga Shirnina (also known as 'Klimbim') colors archive images of the House of Romanov’s final ball.

A grand fancy-dress ball took place at the end of February 1903 in the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg (today’s Hermitage Museum), which was to be the last ball of tsarist Russia. The two-day ball was the most opulent ever held during the reign of Nicolas II. It was dedicated to the 290th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. / Baroness Emma Vladimirovna Frederiks, lady-in-waiting of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

The first day featured feasting and dancing, and a masked ball was held on the second. Everything was captured in a photo album that continues to inspire artists to this day. Russian artist Klimbim has colored archive photos of WW2 heroes, black and white photos of the Romanov family, and portraits of Russian poets and writers. Her latest project was to add color to a series of photos taken at the last ball of the Romanovs, held in 1903. /  Princess Zinaida Nikolaevna Yusupova dressed as a 17th century boyar woman.

All 390 guests were requested to come in traditional Russian 17th century dress. This grand event was remarkable for its luxurious Russian-style costumes. Court ladies were attired in sundresses embroidered with precious stones and kokoshniks (head-dresses) adorned with the finest family jewels, while gentlemen boasted richly decorated caftans and boyar-style fur hats. / Olga Petrovna Baranova, lady-in-waiting of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

Grand Duchess Ksenia Alexandrovna Romanova.

One of the participants of the ball in 17th century dress.

One of the participants of the ball in 17th century dress.

Countess Maria Alexandrovna Keller, dressed as a young boyar woman of the 17th century.

Countess Elisabeth Mousin-Pushkina.

Princess Elisabeth Obolensky, lady-in-waiting of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, dressed as a young boyar woman of the 17th century.

Princess Varvara Alexandrovna Dolgorukaya.

Alexandra Alexandrovna Taneeva in a ball gown.

The Russian-Japanese War broke out a year later, followed by the 1905 Russian Revolution. The global economic crisis marked the beginning of the end for the Russian Empire, and the court ceased to hold balls.

Credit: Archive photos / CGAIPD colored by Klimbim

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