Ferdinand Cheval spent 33 years building an extraordinary palace out of pebbles he collected during his daily mail route

Originally published at: Ferdinand Cheval spent 33 years building an extraordinary palace out of pebbles he collected during his daily mail route | Boing Boing


Eh, Picasso was an asshole anyway.


"I was walking very fast when my foot caught on something that sent me stumbling a few metres 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. My foot tripped on a stone that almost made me fall.

The postman always trips twice.

I’m already halfway out the door.


“stop picking up the cobblestones,” residents said after replacing the street for the third time.

( that is some really cool art. i wonder if he knew any masonry before starting or just figured it out as he went along. )

sounds right. from wikipedia:

After admiring Cheval’s work, Picasso created a series of drawings telling a narrative, in a cartoon fashion… Picasso drew him as twisted, hybrid-like creature in the shape of a horse and his head that of a bird, carved with the initials of the French postal service (P.T.T) on his skin, dressed in typical postman’s attire, holding masonry tools and a letter.

[he] did this in an effort to make a sort of pun about Cheval’s name and career given birds are messengers (as Cheval was a postman) and the meaning of Cheval is horse.


Cheval wanted to be buried in his palace. Because that is illegal in France, he spent eight more years building a mausoleum for himself in the Hauterives cemetery. He died on 19 August 1924, about a year after he had finished building it, and is buried there



Whenever they label something like this “folk art,” it immediately has 1/100th the perceived value of “real” art (or much less).

Meanwhile, Koons has someone else manufacture his art for him in his factory, but it’s still “real” and real expensive.


told you so agree GIF by Bounce


Everybody must get stoned and so he did in a delightful manner. Seems like a great idea and I think I’ll do just that tomorrow


Well damn, I guess the song was wrong. :upside_down_face:

Cheval’s work is brilliant. Kind of reminds me of a place in Florida with a similar history of single person with an architectural vision and many years to bring it to life.


If you wonder what he might have done with training, he had a similar lifespan as Antoni Gaudi…

Park Güell - Wikipedia

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some people are bored by their spare time, some people build (initially) secret palaces or gardens. See also Nek Chand Saini’s “Rock garden” in Chandigarh. Rock Garden of Chandigarh - Wikipedia

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You also got me thinking of the fort at St. Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos. Because of the porous rock, coquina, used to build it. Instead of breaking under the assault of cannonballs, it would simply absorb them into itself, like poking styrofoam.


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