It was while comparing an old photograph of the Fleury Tableau from Saunière's Rennes-le-Château church, to a modern photograph, that I noticed a detail appearing in the old image, was missing from the recent photograph. Now I could be imagining all this but I thought it was worthwhile investigating further just to see if it might be true.
The Fleury Tableau 2007 - Right-hand side painting scene
Old postcard number 33, of the the Fleury Tableau with the area of the missing detail highlighted by the red square
Appearing in the book, Histoire du Trésor de Rennes-le-Château by Pierre Jarnac
This image is one of the photographs Sauniere commissioned to be turned into postcards. This shows all of the original details designed by Saunière.
The missing detail has been highlighted by the red circle.
(left) - Modern section and the same area from the old photograph enlarged. (right)
I have altered the modern image using grain, focal and film stock filters in an attempt to match the quality of the old photograph to better compare the two to see the missing object.
Is it a figure? Marie Dénarnaud perhaps in a pale coloured dress.
If it is Marie, and the other figure is Sauniere, then is the location marked by the bush detail between them something they found together, a secret that they shared? More on this bush detail HERE
Could it have been a Rock, Menhir or a Marker Stone?
Maybe it is a tombstone or grave marker of some sort?
Or is it nothing more than a blemish on the photograph?
Unfortunately the quality of the photograph is not good enough to say exactly what this detail is, but is does look like something that had been included in the original design, but is not there now.
Object detail enlarged and even larger - not that it helps to determine what it is.
The same area as seen in the Fleury Tableau today. Notice the missing slope detail of the reddish brown hill, as if something has been removed. You can just make out some smudging marks.
As you can see from the above image, the area of the missing object, is bathed in light, presumably to highlight the importance of the detail that may have once appeared there.
If it was a detail Sauniere included in his design and has since been removed, why?
What could this detail have been for someone to go to the trouble and effort, it is high up on the wall so a ladder of some type would have been needed, to remove it?
I have said on the Fleury Tableau page, that the painting of the two bushes are of different quality, with the bush on the right side by the figure being very amateurish.
Left-hand painting bush - Right-hand painting bush
As you can see, these bushes have not been painted in the same amount of detail. The bush on the right side is so dissimilar it looks as if someone has purposely dabbed on blobs of paint to cover something up, if so what?
Maybe what the figure is looking at originally wasn't a bush at all but a clue, a cave or some other landmark.
Maybe if this was done to cover or disguise something, the detail that was situated by this bush was removed or painted over at the same time.