Ferdinand Cheval

Apr 19, 1836 - Aug 19, 1924

Ferdinand Cheval was a French postman who spent thirty-three years of his life building Le Palais idéal in Hauterives. The Palace is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture.
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“I was walking very fast when my foot caught on something that sent me stumbling a few meters away, I wanted to know the cause. In a dream I had built a palace, a castle or caves, I cannot express it well... I told no one about it for fear of being ridiculed and I felt ridiculous myself. Then fifteen years later, when I had almost forgotten my dream, when I wasn’t thinking of it at all, my foot reminded me of it…. I found more stones, even more beautiful, I gathered them together on the spot and was overcome with delight... It was a sandstone shaped by water and hardened by the power of time. It becomes as hard as pebbles. It represents a sculpture so strange that it is impossible for man to imitate, it represents any kind of animal, any kind of caricature. I said to myself: since nature is willing to do the sculpture, I will do the masonry and the architecture.”

Ferdinand Cheval
Apr 19, 1836 - Aug 19, 1924
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