La Belle Americain
Elizabeth Monroe, Three of Diamonds
Oil and acrylic on canvas 70 x 56"
©1999 Tina Mion
Elizabeth Monroe was a tall, raven-haired beauty with
pale blue eyes who liked fashion and wore low-cut dresses. Many American
ladies complained that she had no right to be so beautiful in her fifties,
and found her choice of clothing scandalous. The French, on the other
hand. loved Elizabeth and called her “La Belle Americain”
— the beautiful American! James Monroe was, for a time, the American
Minister to France. During the French Revolution, Elizabeth used her influence
to secure the release of General Lafayette’s wife from prison.
Elizabeth Monroe suffered from a mysterious ailment
during the second half of her life and, in her late sixties, sustained
severe burns after she tumbled into a fireplace. She died in 1830, a few
years after this accident.
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