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February 07, 2006

43 Years of Cement and Stone

Palais_ideal_1 a

Behold Facteur Ferdinand Cheval – that rarest breed of artistic genius. A man wholly devoted to his work. Passionately, almost shockingly, creative. Visionary in his artistic scope, his artistic ambition. And maybe just a little crazy.

At age 43, Cheval picked up a rock on the side of the road. He stared at it and and a great and magical idea occurred to him. He suddenly realized it was time to make his dream come true: Palais Ideal. No more waiting. No more excuses.

And so he began collecting more rocks. And more rocks. Of course he had plenty of time to do this on his (32 kilometer) daily route as a postman. And then, night would fall and his real work would begin. The palais. It took him 34 years, working alone, this insane-wonderful genius. His giant cement-sculpture-castle-thing was the great gift he left to us.

In case you can't tell, this is my personal favorite of all the so called "outsider art" environments.

The Official Palais Ideal site

East_giants_p b

West_top_p c

East_wall_p_1 d

Stairs_p e

a. The tower on the terrace
b. The three giants of the east facade
c. Top of stairs – west facade
d. Wall detail – east facade
e. Stairs – west facade

February 7, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

Wow. The rocks I collect just end up in untidy piles in the yard.

Posted by: Eleri | Feb 8, 2006 10:01:04 AM

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