The Postman Cheval’s Ideal Palace has been listed historic monument in 1969 by André Malraux (Minister for Cultural Affairs from 1959 to 1969). The Minister classified the Palace against most of civil servant’s opinion in the Culture Departement.
But Malraux judging the Palace as the only example of Naïve Art decided to classify it giving reason to Breton, Tinguely and Picasso who worshiped Ferdinand Cheval. Nowdays he is a a worldwide reference of Naïve Art.
We can feel his influence in contemporary art. Max Ernst, surrealist and dadaist artist realized a painting called “Postman Cheval”. At the fourth Contempory Art Biennale “The Other”, in Lyon 1997, one of the first work presented for the visit is a model at 1/10 of the Palace realized by the architect Alain Duperron.
Thanks to his proletarian origins and his lack of artistic references, Ferdinand Cheval is considered as the worldwide forerunner of Naïve Art. By his frenzy baroque his style is closed to Gaudi’s one and his ornamental extravagance is compared to Dali’s. He built a palace purely imaginary which was the achievement of a dream.