Two of the Imperial balls that took place during the Winter season of 1889, captured by Mihály Zichy. The famous “Bal Noir” is one of them. When the Empress Maria Fyodorovna learned of Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf´s sudden death, she refused to call off the ball scheduled for the evening, as a small revenge on the Austrian court, who had refused to go into mourning for a Russian official some time before. Still, to show herself not completely unfeeling and un-diplomatic, the Empress requested all the guests to wear only black dresses. The witnesses in years to come recalled the ball a splendid event, during which the splendid jewelery against the all-black costumes created the most peculiar, magnificent effect.