An Interesting Album of Photographic Reproductions of Personalities who Attended the Celebrated Costume Ball Given in the Hermitage Theatre of the Winter Palace in 1903, 50
The costumes show the early 20th century interpretion of the style of the 17th century and the album provides an interesting record of personalities; the catalogue illustrations show Grand Duchess Xenia (the Emperor's sister) and Madame Vonlarskaya.
Participants at the Ball recall the impromptu Russian dance executed on the Tsar's request by the Court beauty, Princess Zinaida Yusupova, for which she received rapturous applause.
The Ball, however, apart from being a masquerade also reflected the Slavophile conviction of the Tsar that the spiritual roots of the monarchy derive from an earlier and deeper tradition than that of the western secular enlightened absolutism arbitrarily imposed on Russia by Peter the Great.
In fact, the Ball was a symptom of an increasing fascination with the origins of Russian culture which stimulated an important movement of Russian revivalism in the arts during the first decade of the twentieth century.