Gray Eminence

Jean-Léon Gérôme – Gray eminence, 1873. The painting depicts a scene in which high-class laymen and clergy, including a cardinal in a cappa magna, are bowing to a Capuchin in a simple habit. The monk, standing in front of a magnificent tapestry with the coat of arms of Cardinal Richelieu, is Father François Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay, called Father Joseph or the Gray Eminence. This influential adviser to the first minister of France was a great believer in the medieval vision of Christian Europe, he also championed the idea of a pan-European crusade against the Turks. In addition, he directed the establishment of Capuchin missions in France, Greece, Asia Minor and Africa.