Stories of stones The postman Cheval exhibited at the Villa Medici

The Stories of Stones exhibition opened on October 13 at the Villa Medici in Rome. Among the works and objects presented, the drawings of the Ideal Palace made by the postman Cheval, loaned by the Musée de La Poste.

Drawings of Postman Cheval
Thierry Débonnaire pour le Musée de La Poste

The Ideal Palace of the postman Joseph-Ferdinand Cheval is located in Hauterives, in the Drôme.

It was classified as a historic monument in 1969, when the dream palace of the rural postman was already one of the most popular heritage buildings in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

The postman Cheval (1836-1924) took more than thirty years to develop with his own hands this unclassifiable construction made of stones collected on the paths.

While Joseph-Ferdinand Cheval wrote “one day, this rock will say many things”, numerous publications are now putting it in the spotlight, as well as the biopic directed by Nils Tavernier (2018).

It is now up to the Villa Medici, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV, to unveil “the stone dream” of the postman Cheval.

Exhibition poster and photo of the Villa Medici

The Stories of Stones exhibition takes place at the Villa Medici in Rome from October 13, 2023 to January 14, 2024. Some 200 works are presented there with the writings of the surrealist writer Roger Caillois as a common thread, whose collection of minerals is the preamble visit.

Read the press release


Bibliography available at the Museum Resource Center

Hauterives : le palais idéal du facteur Cheval

Le facteur cheval : jusqu'au bout du rêve

Le sable des chemins : sur les pas du facteur Cheval