Cardinal Richelieu July 28, 2014Posted by anagasto in history.
François Leclerc du Tremblay by Jean-Léon Gérôme in public domain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_Eminence_grise_1873.jpg.
Because of his fame, anyone would think that Richelieu is the man coming down the stairs in the center of the painting. This man reads a book or fakes reading one without looking at all those people or perhaps trying not to see so much shameless adulation.
In front of him they stoop and bow and behind him they crane their necks just to see him walking.
It isn’t Richelieu. It is his famous Grey Eminence, a simple friar, adviser or crony who helped Richelieu understand and control the world in the interest of the French State and against the interests of Spain.
In Europe the Cardinal was able to push back Catholicism by boosting Protestant powers abroad.
According to legend, on Richelieu’s death the Pope said: If there is a god, the Cardinal will have a lot to account for; and if there isn’t…. well, he will have led a successful life.”
Portrait by Philippe de Champaigne photographed by Ascándar in public domain according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cardinal_Richelieu_%28Champaigne%29.jpg
Armand-Jean du Plessis Duque and Cardinal of Richelieu, Duque of Fronsac, Pair de Francei and leading politician of France 1585 — 1642
Epilogue: The Cardinal’s Cats
The Cardinal had 14 cats and their names are known to historians: Ludoviska, Rubis sur l’Ongle, Serpolet, Pyrame, Thisbe, Racan, Perruque, Mounard le Fougueux, Soumise, Gazette, Ludovic le Cruel, Mimi-Paillon, Felimare, Lucifer.
In his will he left them a house and financial arrangements to cover the costs of their food and the salaries of two people to look after them.