This Artists Colorises Black & White Photos To Breathe Life Into The History Books

This Artists Colorises Black & White Photos To Breathe Life Into The History Books

This Artists Colorises Black & White Photos To Breathe Life Into The History Books

    If you’re anything like me you’ll love learning all about the past. As a woman of a *certain age*, I’ve come to appreciate the olden days more and more. As I leave my younger years behind it’s easier to see the past as some distant country, but artist Marina Amaral has found a way to make sure history seems as tangible as yesterday…

    We’re all fond of flipping through the family albums, and if you’re lucky you’ll have some older black and white photographs to rifle through. There’s a romance to black and white photos I’ve always loved but something about color just makes the scene pop. Marina Amaral could tell you all about that, as she spends her days adding color to historical photographs and the results are truly astounding

    1. Young Elizabeth Taylor

    A star of the silver screen! Elizabeth Taylor one of my favorite actresses! She is the fierce, beautiful, force of nature that I’ve always loved. Amaral’s addition of color brings back to life her younger days and, of course, Taylor’s much-remembered, piercing eyes…


    2. The Nakoda

    The Nakoda are an indigenous people in Western Canada. They refer to themselves as Nakoda which, in their language, means ally/friend. Amaral’s editing skills allow this black and white image to be brought to beautiful, vibrant life.


    3. Queen Victoria

    Queen Victoria, one of Britain’s longest reigning monarchs is returned to resplendent life in this edited image. Suddenly, the incredible historical figure seems all the more real thanks to incredible artistic skill!


    4. Elvis

    It’s only right to follow up from a Queen with the King! Elvis looks even DREAMIER in color! Now the girls of today can appreciate just how gorgeous this guy was in the flesh! Nice one Amaral!


    5. The Spy

    Amaral explains who this beautiful woman was;

    “Mata Hari was born #OnThisDay in 1876. Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” MacLeod was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I and executed by firing squad in France. Born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, she was the eldest of four children of Adam Zelle and his first wife Antje van der Meulen.”


    6. Rebel without a cause

    James Dean was my biggest crush growing up! And this image is just unfairly gorgeous, I’ll be pinning it up in my bedroom right away… hope Walt doesn’t mind!


    7. Kennedy

    Isn’t it amazing just how much adding a splash of color can change an image? This could have been taken yesterday! It just goes to show whilst it feels like everything is changing, so much stays the same…


    8. Anne Frank

    Though it is an absolute joy to look through Amaral’s work sometimes it is also truly upsetting. This colorized image of Anne Frank makes it even more apparent what a young girl she was and what a tragically short life she lived. This artwork doesn’t just serve an entertainment purpose, it reminds us of the horrors of the past which we must strive to never allow to be repeated.


    9. Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe was one of the most beautiful women of her era and this photo just goes to show, had she lived now, she would have continued to amaze! What a gorgeous freezeframe of the actress and singer in the prime of her life.


    10. Kennedy injured

    Amaral adds color to the fateful day Kennedy was shot. How personal this photo feels, as though we’re right there with the poor man?


    11. The Queen in her youth

    Here, a very young Queen Elizabeth sits with her father and sister. How young and fresh-faced the two sisters look. If their hairstyles were just a little different you could fool me that this was a photo of some royal residents today!


    12. Charlie Chaplin

    Amaral makes it possible to feel as though you’re gazing into the pale blue eyes of arguably the most famous actor ever. What a privilege her artwork affords us.


    13. The Suffragette

    This amazing picture documents an amazing woman; Emmeline Pankhurst. A vital figure in the women’s suffrage movement. She was a British political activist who risked her life to ensure women won the vote. Amaral’s beautiful work allows us to remember her as she was.


    14. Grace Kelly

    Grace Kelly really didn’t need any more of a hand looking beautiful and yet, Amaral has managed the impossible and made her beauty EVEN MORE apparent. It’s just not fair!


    15. Ruby Bridges

    Amaral explains that Ruby “was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960.”


    16. Martin Luther King

    Amaral shows this amazing man in all his glory. Martin Luther King helped to make huge strides for racial equality, I really hope this amazing artwork is helping kids engage with these incredibly important historical figures. They should never be forgotten.


    17. Shell-shocked soldier of the Somme

    Amaral puts it better than I ever could;

    “His eyes express the madness of the war. The soldier looks like he has gone insane from what he has seen. In that moment in time everything he’s been raised to work within, the social constructs which make up every part of his life just exploded and shattered to nothing, and he’s lying there, slumped in a trench, afraid for his life, hearing and seeing death around him, his entire psyche broken. Even more haunting when you think that people didn’t smile for the pictures back then.”

    May we never forget. Let us always strive for peace.


    18. A young girl in Auschwitz

    According to Amaral;

    “Czesława Kwoka […] is the reason I started @facesofauschwitz, because since the first time I saw her face, I could never forget her. Czesława was murdered with a phenol injection to the heart at the age of 14.”

    This is truly heartbreaking. Thank goodness Amaral is helping to bring attention to these stories, may they always be remembered.


    19. A wartime worker

    Amaral notes;

    “21-year-old Eunice Hancock operates a compressed-air grinder in a Midwest aircraft motor plant, World War II. “With no previous experience, Eunice quickly mastered the techniques of her war job and today is turning out motor parts with speed and skill. Note protective mask and visor, two vital safety accessories.”


    20. Albert Einstein

    Somehow the color version of this photo makes you realize that one of the world’s most ingenious men looked just like every other man! It sounds obvious but I just can’t get around how deeply, emotionally affecting these amazing images are!

    If you like Amaral’s amazing artwork you can buy her new book, The Colour of Time here!

    Which of these photos affected you most? Is there a historical figure you’d love to see Amaral color? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to share this amazing art work with your friends and family! AAx

    (All Images Credit; Instagram, @marinaarts)