Hand colouring black and white photographs is practically as old as the photographic process itself. The fashion of colouring photographs flourished in the 1890s and early 1900s, and some of them were printed as postcards in various editions.
In the above image taken by the Romanian royal photographer Franz Mandy the Crown Princess of Romania stands in the portico of the Cotroceni church in Bucharest. The print has also Marie’s autograph signature dated in 1902. Franz Mandy produced a series of postcard editions from some of his best photographs, with some of the runs hand painted as the example bellow (that postcard edition was printed by Stengel & Co in Dresden).
During my research, a few years ago, I found at the RNL, a photograph of Mignon and Elisabeta, part of a photo album that belonged to Marie of Romania. The photograph wasn’t multiplied in postcards etc and was first published in my book ‘Marie of Romania. Images of a Queen’.
Just out of curiosity and wanting to reproduce somehow the atmosphere hand painted old photographs, I painted a scan of that old photograph using the mouse as a brush and a special computer software affording a large palette of colours. This is how that image looks in the computer rendered colour ‘hand painted’ version.
Personally I prefer the original photographs, black and white or sepia, but of course I am also interested and collect chromolithographies, hand-colored postcards and photographs. It is also great fun to try your hand on the computer and ‘hand paint’ in colour old beautiful photographs with royal personages; in a way helps recreating the past and better understanding that long gone epoch. All rights reserved©Diana Mandache www.royalromania.wordpress.com
The above images are not for copying or duplication over the internet i.e. forums, blogs etc.