OIL PAINTING: L'Eminence Grise [The Grey Cardinal], 1873
The story behind The Grey Cardinal of Gerome:
An eminence grise (French for "grey eminence") is a powerful advisor or decision-maker who operates secretly or unofficially. This phrase originally referred to Cardinal Richelieu's right-hand man, Francois Leclerc du Tremblay, a Capuchin friar who wore grey robes. The phrase "His Eminence" is used to describe a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, although Leclerc du Tremblay never achieved that rank.