from page 427-428, volume 2 of original text
collage, thread, foil, ribbon, chocolate bar foil, ink
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 948-950
Rostov, pledged to marry his cousin Sophie since they were young, has been having stirrings of feelings for another. These are roused again at the governor's soiree where, "At the mention of Princess Marya, Rostov experienced a feeling of bashfulness, even fear, incomprehensible to himself."
I love the mysterious quality of old photographs, whether they are people I know or don't know. Here, the woman is clearly the object of someone's affection, as Marya is. The black ribbon and thread refer to a later passage in which Rostov visits Marya at home and Mlle Bourienne, Marya's friend, notices how how beautiful Marya looks as she rises to take his hand. Mlle Bourienne thinks, "Either black is quite becoming to her, or she has really grown quite pretty, and I haven't noticed it. And, above all—that tact and grace!" ~Trish