He was a self-taught builder of visionary sculptures, who was later giving the name "Postman Cheval". Ferdinand Cheval was very abstract about the way he delivered messages throughout his sculptors. In 1879, at 43 years old, Cheval began to build “The Temple of Nature”, later became known as “The Ideal Palace”. Ferdinand was an expert at subliminally sending messages within his sculptors. Every sculptor was significant to his present life and how he felt at the time. "The source of Life" is one his two pieces of work, his work is in close harmony with nature. It was built with seashells, snails, oysters and different stones. The second piece "St.Amadeu's Cave", honoring the patron saint of Hauterives. Since Ferdinand could not be buried in the tombs, he began to build a tomb in the village “The Tomb of silence and endless rest". According to the evidence, it’s said that the "ideal Palace" was not only a hymn to life, but it was to death that he defied by building a sculptor that will live on after him. It’s obvious that the work of the “postman” still exist in modern day agriculture. Ferdinand work was significant to him, because the palace reveals his morality. “The three Giants” Sculptor is considered to be one of the finest features of the palace. The head of the sculptor is a reminiscent of the Easter Island statues, while the hand pointed to heaven which is where he wants to go when he dies. The wheelbarrow that lies behind the three giants is where Ferdinand Cheval goes to share his affectionate and companioned side in times of need for him. The Temple of nature is surrounded by significant sculptors that tell a story within them around the North, East, West, and South Façade of the Palace.
|This Photo shows the Eastern Island statue which points to heaven, where wants to go.|
According to evidence, Ferdinand wrote a letter in 1897 to Andre Lacroix, reporting the circumstances and the different stages it took to build the palace (“Ferdinand Cheval's letter to André Lacroix”). His letter further discuss why, when, where, and how he created the sculptors he did. As bizarre as it sounds, Ferdinand went through trials and tribulations as well. Although he went through obstacles, he never gave up hope. He was criticized by his fellow people, but the foreign visitors found his work to be amazing.
|This photo shows his darkest side of his creative soul through his vision.|
Whether people like his work or still criticize his work, or against the subliminal messages that was put into his work, his work will forever exist in modern day agriculture. Still today there are concerts held at the Palace. The concerts give you a chance to experience the unique work in another perspective and enjoy the relation it has with other artist.
Es Van Henk. Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, le Palais Idéal/the Ideal Palace.outsider-enviroments.blogspot.com.N.p.8 Feb. 2009.Web.19 Oct.2013.
Ferdinand Cheval's Palace. “Ferdinand Cheval's Palace”.facteurcheval.com.N.p.n.d.Web.19 Oct 2013.
Links for Further Research:
Le facteur Cheval : où le songe devient la réalité.” Le facteur Cheval : où le songe devient la réalité”.ina.fr.N.p.1 Jan. 2001.Web.10 Oct. 2013. www.ina.fr/video/CPD01004563
The link shows a video of the Palace.
Obourn Nick.” Unusual Travel Destinations”.trueslant.com/nickobourn. Copyright True/Slant.15 July, 2010.Web.10 Oct.2013. http://trueslant.com/nickobourn/2010/07/15/unusual-travel-destinations-le-palais-ideal-in-hauterives-france/
This link shares further information that was written by Nick Obourn
Valpard.”Le palais ideal du facteur Cheval”.youtube.com.N.p.11 Jan, 2010.Web.10 Oct 2013. www.youtube.com/watch?v=PORBy6-whWY
This link is just another inside look of the palace.