Elizabeth Bibesco - Final Years

Final Years

She travelled with her husband in his capacity as Romanian ambassador, first to Washington (1920–1926) and then to Madrid (1927–1931). She was in Romania during World War II and died there of pneumonia in 1945 at the age of 48. She was buried in the Bibesco family vault on the grounds of Mogosoaia Palace outside Bucharest. Her epitaph reads, "My soul has gained the freedom of the night" — the last line of the last poem in her 1927 collection.

Elizabeth's death was the final sorrow for her mother, Margot, who died within months of her daughter's death. Prince Antoine, forced out of Romania after the war, never returned to his homeland. He died in 1951 and was buried in Paris. Priscilla Hodgson, the only child of Prince and Princess Bibesco, continued to live at 45, Quai Bourbon until her death in 2004.

Elizabeth's portrait was painted twice by Augustus John, in 1919 and again in 1924. The first painting (titled "Elizabeth Asquith") shows her as a vivacious debutante in a feather stole over bare shoulders. This picture is in the Laing Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. In the second portrait, seen here (titled "Princess Antoine Bibesco"), Elizabeth appears slightly weary and melancholic, her eyes averted just enough to suggest a break in her former self-confidence. She wears a mantilla given to her father by the Queen of Portugal and holds in her hand one of her own books. When shown at the Royal Academy summer show in 1924, Mary Chamot, writing in Country Life, wrote of this painting that it "has the force to make every other picture in the room look insipid, so dazzling is the contrast between the mysterious darkness of her eyes and hair and the shimmering brilliance of the white lace she wears over her head."

Read more about this topic:  Elizabeth Bibesco

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