After the Ball belongs to Korovin’s nocturnes which are characterised by their musicality and air of nostalgia. Even these interior scenes are to an extent painted en plein air with the figures placed by an open window, allowing the outside in. In the 1910s Korovin did much work for the stage and most of his portraits of this period are of prominent figures from the performing arts.
The sitter of this portrait is depicted in evening dress and holding flowers, possibly from a bouquet she has received after the evening’s performance. The mood is one of quiet reflection, the open window brings in the Moscow night and one can almost hear the sound of music still carried on the air. Painted in cool tones of lilac and grey, the scene is lit by the silvery moonlight streaking through the window. The colour accents of the red and yellow flowers on her breast and in her hand, and the warm comforting glow coming from the windows of buildings in the distance, add a note of festivity to the scene. The events of 1917 seem to belong to another, distant world.