Monday, June 2, 2014

A Rare Vision

Portrait of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaievna of Russia (1825-1844) From the Hermitage Museum
"Her lineaments seemed suddenly to recall forcibly her mother and also her grandmother, Queen Louisa [of Prussia]. Among the retinue of the Empress were still persons who retained a lively recollection of Queen Louise, and who were struck by the likeness. [She] showed indescribable grace in all her movements, especially in dancing, so that her parents liked to look at her; even in her mode of walking in the street, where she appeared in all her simplicity and quite unknown, she struck every passer-by as a rare vision. From her features beamed even more than the wonted courtesy of a princess, or the easy cheerfulness of a girl; beyond all others, she was distinguished by elevation of thought, and goodness. Her slightest smile lighted up her whole face, her glance was full of intellect and heart, and on her lofty brow was written true dignity. Many beauties cause astonishment, but permit the spectator no nearer approach; the youthful Alexandra delighted by her first few words, for they came from the warmest depths of her heart. Neither pride nor cold reserve, but intellectual life and spirit, animated her whole being."
- Theodore Grimm, Alexandra Feodorowna, Empress of Russia 
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