He was remarkable for ugliness, and was an object of aversion to his parents.
In this he is described as a monster of ugliness and deformity, as he is also represented in a well-known marble figure in the Villa Albani at Rome.
His extreme ugliness in later life is attributed to an attack of typhus, from which he suffered in 1771.
Its ugliness was emphasized by the old felt hat which he wore, - its sole ornament the leaden figure of a saint.
He at once began love-making, and in spite of his ugliness succeeded in winning the heart of the lady to whom his colonel was attached; this led to such scandal that his father obtained a lettre de cachet, and the young scapegrace was imprisoned in the isle of Re.