We are the Cheval family

Although Postman Cheval worked alone, that did not mean he wasn’t surrounded by loved ones. Meet the Cheval family!

By Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Rosalie Cheval by Ferdinand ChevalPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Rosalie Revol, 1841–1873

Postman Cheval's first wife, Rosalie Revol, was born in 1841.  
In 1858, at the age of 17, she married Ferdinand in Charmes. Rosalie was a seamstress. They had a son, Victorin Joseph Ferdinand, who was born in 1864, and died just a year later. They had a second son, Cyrille, who was born in 1866.

Cyrille Cheval (1895) by Ferdinand ChevalPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Cyrille Cheval 1866-1912

Cyrille was the second son of Ferdinand Cheval and Rosalie Revol, born in 1866. He was raised by his godparents, Antoine Abel de St. Donat and Marie Revol, following Rosalie's death when he was just seven years old. In 1891, he married Marie-Louise Guironnet in Saint-Uze, where he set up shop as a tailor. In 1895, he established his workshop in Hauterives, where, in 1910, he was elected town councillor. He died of tuberculosis in 1912, aged 46.

Old Photo (1884)Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Claire Philomène Richaud 1838-1914

Born in 1838 in Tersanne, and died in 1914, aged 76. On September 28, 1878, she married Postman Cheval, Claire was 40 years old and Postman Cheval was 42 years old. She was his second wife. They had a daughter together, named Alice.

Alice Marie Cheval 1879-1894

Born in 1879, in Tersanne, she was Postman Cheval's only daughter. She died in 1894, at just 15 years old, most likely of meningitis.

Alice's class photo by Ferdinand ChevalPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Class photo–Alice Cheval

Alice is in the back row, third from the left.

Old Photo (1917)Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace

The marriage of Alice Cheval and Charles Lardant

This is thought to be the last photo taken of Postman Cheval, who is on the right. He was 81 years old, and had completed his Ideal Palace 5 years earlier.

Alice Cheval 1893-1984

The bride is Alice Cheval, born in 1893. She was the daughter of Cyrille, and the second granddaughter of Ferdinand Cheval. She was married in 1917, aged 24, to Charles Lardant, a schoolteacher. She died in 1984, at 91 years old, without any children. Madame Lardant made a will, in which she left her entire inheritance to the municipality of Hauterives. The town inherited one third of the rights to the Ideal Palace, which Alice Lardant had held.

Cyrille Cheval 1892-1980

To the left of the bride, Cyrille, Postman Cheval's first granddaughter, born in 1892 in St Uze. Ferdinand Cheval became her godfather on June 6th of the same year. She married Georges Juveneton in 1920. They had a daughter, named Simone, who went on to marry Roland Savel. Cyrille died in 1980, in Tullins, aged 88.

Cheval Family's gravestone by Ferdinand ChevalPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Tomb of the Cheval Family

In the Tomb of endless rest and silence, constructed by Postman Cheval, his entire family have been laid to rest. Tragically, he outlived his three children, and both of his wives. Alice, his daughter, is the only one to be given the inscription, "Dearly missed."

Cheval Family's grave (1914/1922) by Ferdinand ChevalPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

The tomb of Postman Cheval, in all its extraordinary splendour, was built from 1914 to 1922, in the cemetery of Hauterives. A chance to pay tribute to this exceptional man and his family.

Credits: Story

This story written by Adriano de La Baume and Oliver Cros, during their junior high school internship, introduced you to the members of the Cheval family. We hope you enjoyed this virtual exhibition and we invite you to come and take a closer look at the Ideal Palace. 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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