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.
Le Magasin Pittoresque enabled Postman Cheval to escape, and to open himself up to the world and its riches.
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 ...
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.