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Nicolas Poussin and the Pontils Tomb

Nicolas Poussin and the Pontils Tomb Landscape

Galibert Tomb from Pontil's Discovered in Limoux

While I was researching the Pontils tomb I found out that, Jean or Louis Galibert, there are conflicting reports as to the name, had purchased the land known as 'Les Pontils Mill' in 1880. Planning to build a factory for the manufacture of epaulettes and braid to be used by military tailors. To power the machines in this factory, he was going to harness the power of the flowing river Cruce, which has now dried up.

Living here with Louis/Jean was his wife Elisabeth.

In 1903 their grandson had a grave constructed by the stonemason Bourrel, who lived in Rennes-les-Bains, a few kilometres away. The position chosen was "on a hillock located fifty meters from the road,"  It is assumed that this is the same position of the Pontils tomb so much has been written about and linked to the 'Shepherds of Arcadia' painting by Nicolas Poussin.

In 1904 the remains of his grandmother, Elisabeth, were transferred to this grave.

Twenty years later the Galibert family moved to Limoux and sold the Pontil's Mill.

In 1921 Louis/Jean had a new grave constructed in the Limoux cemetery utilising the facing stones and the gate from the Pontil's grave. He then had the two bodies, which included that of his wife Elizabeth who had died some years earlier and placed in the tomb, transferred to the new grave in Limoux.

Limoux Cemetery

Limoux Cemetery

I was keen to see if this 'tomb' still existed so while on a trip out to Rennes-le-Château with Bruce Burgess, we stopped off at the cemetery in Limoux to see if we could find out. It was not an easy task as there are hundreds of large graves in the cemetery but eventually Bruce spotted it. But it seemed we were a few years too late to view the original Pontil's tomb construction.

Galibert Grave in Limoux Graveyard

The Galibert Family burial grave in the Limoux Cemetery (2007)

Now obviously this is not the grave Louis/Jean Galibert had constructed in Pontils, this is a newer version paid for by the surviving members of the Galibert family in recent times. No doubt a bigger one was needed to house the deceased members of the family.

The cross on top seems out of place with the new marble and may be a remnant from the older Pontil's tomb construction.

Close-up of the Galibert Cross

It seems to have been cleaned recently and a new plaque added.

Names of the interred Galibert Family

Elizabet Galibert Plaque

Elisabeth Galibert Plaque

The 1904 dates fits in with the death of Elisabeth dying and placed in the Pontil's tomb by her grandson.

Louis Galibert

Louis Galibert Plaque

The Louis name seems to have been popular with the Galibert family.

Another Name Plaque

 

Related Research Articles

Nicolas Poussin and the Pontils Tomb Landscape

Pontils Tomb Article

Nicolas Poussin and the Pontils Tomb

Pontils Tomb Landscape Article

Cassini map showing the area around Rennes-le-Chateau circa 1600 - 1700

Related Publications

 

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