L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Teenage dress-up - the daughters of Nicholas II, circa 1916

Maria, Tatiana, Olga, and Anastasia.


Four teenage girls. Innocent to a degree unusual, even for the time. In a room they share, family photographs all around, books and papers, a bust of their father on the table. Just a happy evening playing dress-up. But is there something else about the poorly focused photographs, taken without sufficient light, bearing the scratches and fading of time? Are they more than casual snapshots; is there something other to the images? Or is it merely our inability to overlook their deaths, only two years later - shot and bayoneted in a basement - and see these as just five photographs of loving sisters at play? 


  1. Each girl was given a Kodak Brownie Box Camera by their father on a certain birthday. The girls had great fun with them, taking pictures of themselves and of people who surrounded them, caught unawares sometimes, poor things...

    Once, vacationing at the Palace of Livadia, in the Crimea, they took a picture of their naked father's back when he splashed on the Baltic's water.

    Olga was her father's favorite and Tatiana was her mother's. Maria was the beauty of the family with blue eyes the size of "saucers" according to the Tsar.......
    Beautiful post, Stephen. They were innocent girls!