"Ihre königliche Hoheit Prinzessin Elisabeth in Bayern."
Empress Sissi’s evening dress shown on display is similar to the one Painted by Winterhalter in 1865 with diamond stars. [x]
✧ Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her family Spam [49/50] ✧
After the tragic death of her only son Rudolf in the year 1889, Elisabeth becomes more and more embittered, recedes into her own world, becomes unsociable and inapproachable. From now on she wears black exclusively, and most experience Elisabeth as black silhouette in the distance. Her last official appearance is in the year 1896 on the occasion of the millennium celebrations in Budapest. Kalman Mikszáth, present at the reception at Budapest Castle, describes his impressions: “There she sits, in the throne room of the royal castle in her black, lacy Hungarian robes. Anything and everything on her is sombre. From the dark hair a black veil flows down. Hairpins black, pearls black, everything black, only her face as white as marble and unutterably woeful… A mater dolorosa (sorrowful mother)… It is still her, but the grief has embedded its mark upon this visage… Not one stir, not one glance reveals concern. White as marble, resembling a statue… “
She was assassinated by the 25-year-old Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni on 10 September 1898 in Geneva. Elisabeth was 60. Elisabeth’s dead body is brought to Vienna and is at first laid out in the Burgkapelle. The ceremonial funeral takes place in the Kapuzinergruft on 17 September. However, the sympathy of the people is directed first and foremost at the Emperor, who has suffered another stroke of fate. Count Kilmannsegg later comments matter-of-factly: “Only few tears were shed for her.” But with her tragic death starts Elisabeth’s immortality – and every criticism is forgotten. What remains is the memory of the beautiful, inapproachable Empress. The legend of Sisi is born.
✧ Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her family Spam [50/50] ✧
✧ Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her family Spam [48/50] ✧
✧ Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her family Spam [46/50] ✧
✧ Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her family Spam [43/50] ✧
Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria, Princess Auguste of Bavaria, Prince Georg of Bavaria, Prince Konrad of Bavaria.
Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria.
Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska, Archduke Franz Karl, Archduke Hubert Salvator, Archduchess Hedwig, Archduke Theodor Salvator, Archduchess Gertrud, Archduchess Maria Elisabeth, Archduke Clemens Salvator, Archduchess Mathilde.
✧ Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her family Spam [41/50] ✧
Elisabeth is particularly proud of her thick hair, of which the combing and dressing takes up between two and three hours a day. Her hairdresser Franziska (Fanny) Feifalik plays a decisive role, since the former hairdresser of the Wiener Burgtheater is responsible for all the elaborate hairstyles. While hairdressing she has to put on white gloves and is forbidden to wear rings. After dressing, braiding and pinning up the hair for hours, the fallen out hairs have to be presented in a silver bowl, each lost hair bringing about a look of reproach from the Empress. Her niece remarks mockingly, that “the hairs upon Aunt Sisi’s head are numbered”. On a fortnightly basis, the hair is being washed with a specially made mixture of egg yolk and cognac, a procedure which takes up a whole day. In later years she probably tinges her hair with indigo and an extract made from nutshells. The hours spent with hairdressing are primarily used by Elisabeth to learn languages: Hungarian and later most notably ancient and modern Greek. For the latter she hired Constantin Christomanos, who reads to her, corrects her language exercises and philosophises with the Empress. Christomanos describes the hours of hairdressing in the Hofburg in the following way: “Hairdressing takes almost two hours, she said, and while my hair is busy, my mind stays idle. I am afraid that my mind escapes through the hair and onto the fingers of my hairdresser. Hence my headache afterwards. The Empress sat at a table which was moved to the middle of the room and covered with a white cloth. She was shrouded in a white, laced peignoir, her hair, unfastened and reaching to the floor, enfolded her entire body.