Tag Archives: picasso

What is a masterpiece?

Did you know that a masterpiece was literally a master piece: a piece of work that had to proof the creator of the masterpiece had the right skills?

Salvador Dali  - The Persistence of Time

A Dali masterpiece

In mediaval Europe guilds were formed to group craftsmen and merchants with the aim to protect their respective professions and to control the quality of the craft.
In the guilds, knowledge and experience were exchanged. New members were trained in the craft. After a thorough training, a pupil could be recognized as a craftsman with the title of “journeyman”. Everyone who wanted to settle as an independent craftsman had to proof his skill with a master piece: a sort of practical exam that showed the technical skills of the candidate master.
In the Painter’s guilds for instance, the candidate master had to create an original painting according to the guidelines of the guilds.
This painting was his masterpiece.

Gustav Klimt - The Kiss

A Klimt masterpiece

Pablo Picasso- Guernica

A Picasso masterpiece

Edward Munch - The Scream

A Munch Masterpiece

Remarkable artists – Postman Cheval

Ideal Palace

Postman Cheval – The Ideal Palace – south

Today, Ferdinand Cheval is considered to be one of the most remarkable representatives of naive architecture, but during his lifetime people thought of him as the village idiot.

Did you know…

  • the building that made him world famous is called Le Palais Idéal (the Ideal Palace)
  • he was actually a postman; people called him Facteur Cheval
  • how it all started:
    • one day in 1879, he tripped on a stone and almost fell
    • looking at the stone, he was overwhelmed by its beauty and he put the stone in his pocket
    • the stone reminded him of a dream he had a year before. In that dream he was building a palace
    • the next day he went back and found more stones. He continued to do this for 33 years
    • Cheval bound the stones together with lime, mortar and cement and so he started to build his Ideal Palace
    • he merely worked at night by the light of an oil lamp
    • Just before he died, he received recognition from André Breton and Pablo Picasso

This was the first stone he collected:

Facteur Cheval - first stone

His first stone

This is the Ideal Palace:

The Ideal Palace -Facteur Cheval

The Ideal Palace

The ideal palace

The ideal palace

Facteur Cheval - detail East

detail East

Facteur Cheval -detail - north

detail – north

  • Cheval wanted to be buried in his Ideal Palace, but this is illegal in France
  • thus, he started building a mausoleum in the same style as his Ideal palace on the local  cemetary
  • he spent 8 more years on the mausoleum
  • 1 year after he was finished, he died
  • Ferdinand “Postman” Cheval was buried in his Ideal Mausoleum

This is the mausoleum:

mausoleum Facteur Cheval