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.
Its ugliness was emphasized by the old felt hat which he wore, - its sole ornament the leaden figure of a saint.
His extreme ugliness in later life is attributed to an attack of typhus, from which he suffered in 1771.
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.