|Portrait of the then Grand Duchess Elizabeth Alexeievna of|
Russia, c.1800. From The Royal Collection.
This was how the Comte de La Garde de Chambonas described the Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna of Russia during her stay in the Austrian capital for the Congress of Vienna in 1814. He described her as an "angel on earth", and went on to say that:
"She was endowed with a charming face, her eyes reflecting the purity of her soul. She had magnificent auburn hair, which, as a rule, was allowed to fall loose on her shoulders. Her figure was elegant, lithe, and supple, and even when she wore mask, her walk revealed her identity in a moment. No woman realised more thoroughly the line of Virgil: 'Incessu patuit Dea...' To a most delightful disposition there were added a cultivated and quick intellect, a passionate love of art, and a boundless liberality in money matters. The graceful elegance of her person, her noble bearing, and her inexhaustible kindness won her all hearts. Neglected almost from the first hour of her union by a husband whom she worshiped, her solitude and grief had bred a kind of melancholy. Stamped on every feature, that feeling lent to the accents of her voice and to her slightest movements an irresistible charm."
Anecdotal Recollections of the Congress of Vienna
by the Comte de La Garde de Chambonas