Use of Paint in Gouy

The vestiges of red paint in the first chamber led one to suppose a very limited use of paint in Gouy. A process capable of detecting possible outlines was indispensable in order to know more. A large number of unfruitful attempts was necessary before attaining the best results (Aujoulat 1987; Vertut 1979; Martin 2004)—using a method not normally used for the study of parietal art.

It consisted of a lighting system originally used in biology (a fluorescent tube for plants) and currently used in aquaria. It has proved particularly efficient, and in Gouy revealed a painted line, 1.3 m long (dark red), on its first use.

Yet no trace of paint was known in this precise spot. The red line had never been discerned or recorded photographically. This discovery made it possible that other painted elements might survive—and this was subsequently verified. Various other data (extremely 'readable') also appear with the same lighting. When applied to the decorated walls, this light proved very use-ful—the reds (particularly intensified) can now be recorded.

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