Le Magasin Pittoresque

The inspired and inspiring encyclopedia, which kickstarted the creativity of Postman Cheval. It is through this richly-illustrated magazine that he discovered the world.

By Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Headline from the Le Magasin Pittoresque Review (1873) by Le Magasin PittoresquePostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Flicking through Le Magasin Pittoresque... 

This helps understand the extensive reach of this high-end encyclopedia. Created by Edouard Charton in 1833, it influenced the creation of the Ideal Palace. Ferdinand Cheval was an avid reader of this magazine, despite his poor education.

This magazine had a bit of everything: morals, history, archeology, art, natural sciences, industry, travel, etc.

Indian Temple of Juggernaut, Thérond, 1853, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Hindu temple (detail of the Ideal Palace), Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Le Magasin Pittoresque enabled  Postman Cheval to escape, and to open himself up to the world and its riches.

Stone Pulpit in the Barkouk Mosque, Cairo, Le Magasin Pittoresque, 1845, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Barbary Tower (Detail of the Ideal Palace), Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Other engravings reproduce both ancient and modern monuments. Famous painters, engravers, and illustrators have signed these engravings: Gustave Doré (artist of the illustration below), Eugène Delacroix, Louis le Breton, Hippolyte Bellangé ...

Among the fallen ruins of ancient civilization, Gustave Doré, 1840, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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The Egyptian temple, Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Thanks to Le Magasin Pittoresque, Cheval traveled through world, and discovered cultures and religions that he had never even heard of. As an intended gesture of peace between nations, in his Palace, he engraved: Fairies from the East come to congregate with the West.

The Blue Mosque, in Tauris, Alexandre de Bar, 1873, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Mosque (Detail of the Ideal Palace), Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Originally, Postman Cheval had created four trees to decorate the Swiss Chalet. Later, he moved these trees, and they can now be seen in his Tomb of Silence and Endless Rest, the last masterpiece created by the Mailman in the cemetery.

The Swiss Chalet, Le Magasin Pittoresque, 1838, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Swiss chalet (detail of the Ideal Palace), Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Old Photo, 1905, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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All kinds of animals, some which exist today, and some which are extinct, are also included in the subjects covered by Le Magasin Pittoresque. The exotic animals certainly piqued the curiosity of the famous Postman!

The Ideal Palace's gallery, Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Square House and Arabian Camel, Le Magasin Pittoresque, 1873, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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El-Harrach in Algiers (detail of the Ideal Palace), Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Model of the elephant which was to decorate the Place de la Bastille in Paris, Alavoine, 1853, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Elephant (detail of the Ideal Palace), Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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The otter, Le Magasin Pittoresque, 1839, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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The otter, Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Through Le Magasin Pittoresque, Postman Cheval also discovered famous literary figures, and inscribed their words in his building.

Chateaubriand wrote The Martyrs in 1809, fragments which set the scene for the character Velléda were then published in Le Magasin Pittoresque. In the Ideal Palace, this Gallic druid is the woman on the left, at the feet of the Giants.

Chateaubriand Francois Rene Viscomte De, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
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East facade, Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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The man who dies is a setting sun, who rises more radiant, over another hemisphere  is a phrase from Goethe, winch Postman Cheval read in Le Magasin Pittoresque.

Goethe in the Roman Campagna, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, 1787, From the collection of: Städel Museum
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Quotes of postman Cheval / East facade, Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Several engravings depict historical figures. Like here, Socrates drawn as he is depicted in the Roman sculpture exhibited in the Louvre. Ferdinand Cheval being fascinated by the heros and philosophers of Antiquity, Socrates also had a bust in the Ideal Palace!

Socrates, Le Magasin Pittoresque, 1843, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Socrates, Ferdinand Cheval, 1879/1912, From the collection of: Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
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Vercingétorix (1877) by Le Magasin PittoresquePostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Vercingetorix, the Defender of Gaul... 

Archimedes (1877) by Henri GirardetPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

...and Archimedes, the great Greek scholar, also have their place in the Ideal Palace!

The three giants (1879/1912) by Ferdinand ChevalPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Cesar, Vercingetorix and Archimedes form the three Giants. Emblems of the Ideal Palace, they guard it dutifully.

East facade (1879/1912) by Ferdinand ChevalPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Le Magasin Pittoresque went out of publication in 1938, but left behind its masterful footprint in the work of Postman Cheval.

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