I admit to being fascinated by the fact that these people are gone, yet they lived and breathed and walked the earth and someone cared enough to make a record of a day in their life. Yet no one cared enough to save that piece of history.
These old photos have no copyright, they belong to no one but themselves; they are fair game for the artist who wants to practice her craft and experiment.
It's a challenge to create a color image from a black and white reference photo. I can think of only one way to do it and that is to use color theory. Decide on the color of the light-- in this instance I chose yellow and the color of the shadow will become it's complement: violet. Of course local color will affect the color of everything too but making a conscious decision about the color of the light in the beginning helps to speed the process.
I like to add some fun stuff in the background to make it more interesting when I can't see much of what is behind the subject.
11" x 14" oil on linen