Gaston Vuillier, born in 1815 in Gincla (Aude), was a draftsman, traveller and ethnographer. After a youth spent in the Pyrenees and a five-year stay in Algeria, he moved to Paris in 1878. He was thirty-three years old and determined to become an artist. He would find his way into major illustrated magazines such as Le Tour du Monde. From Andorra to Tunisia, via the Balearics, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and Sicily, he became the illustrator of the “forgotten islands” of the Mediterranean. It was in September 1892, during a report on the Limousin for Le Tour du Monde that Gaston Vuillier discovered Gimel. He was immediately struck by the contrast between the pastoral and romantic aspect of this village perched on the rock, its surroundings drowned in the forest, and the violent and wild beauty of the waterfalls that the houses overlooked. He returned regularly, eventually settled there and set up a hotel and a park on the edge of the waterfalls. He fought for twenty years to safeguard this site, which he managed to have classified in 1912. He also undertook descriptions of the men who lived there, their rites and beliefs (including witchcraft and spring worship). It was there, in the murmur of the waters, that he died and was buried in 1915.
Jean-Christophe Monferran et Claudie Voisenat, 2002. Dans la rumeur des eaux, Gaston Vuillier à Gimel (1892-1915), Réalisation Jean-Christophe Monferran, DV Bétacam, 20 mn, Production Garae, Carcassonne.