This house looks like that of the postman Cheval, it is a few kilometers from Paris

This house looks like that of the postman Cheval it

Entirely decorated with mosaic from walls to ceiling, this house is the unique work of a self-taught artist who made this place his life’s work.

If in the Drôme, the Ideal Palace of the Postman Cheval designed by the postman Ferdinand Cheval from stones collected on the road has become the second favorite monument of the French, it is however not the only house in France created by the hands of ‘a single man guided by his imagination. There is a similar dreamlike house in the town of Chartres, an hour from Paris, built with pieces of broken crockery…

When you open the door of Maison Picassiette in Chartres, you discover the fantastic work of Raymond Isidore, who, like Ferdinand Cheval, spent 33 years of his life building his ideal house. This young roadman from the town of Chartres spent his time picking up shards of glass, porcelain debris and broken crockery while wandering through the fields or rummaging in public dumps, “without any specific intention”. but “for their colors and their sparkle”. It was only in 1930 that he decided to use this immense collection to decorate the house he had built for himself and his family, improvising as a mosaicist with humility and perseverance. Having become a sweeper of the Saint-Chéron cemetery very close to his house at the end of the Second World War, he undertook the exterior decoration of his estate, even buying lots of chipped tableware at the Chartres auction house. From 1930 to 1962, “he did it alone: ​​there were 29,000 hours of work in 33 years outside of his days. He continued until he left, a year before his retirement , at 64 years old”, his wife testified after his death on September 7, 1964.

In the “black courtyard” of Maison Picassiette in Chartres. © PackShot –

The creator of the Picassiette house leaves behind a gem of art brut. In this house and garden, now open to visitors and classified as historic monuments, every corner is covered with tableware mosaics which reflect the beliefs of their author. There are many references to the monuments of the city of Chartres such as the cathedral or the Porte Guillaume, but also representations of popular culture such as the Eiffel Tower, Mont Saint-Michel, the Mona Lisa, landscapes of Beauce, flowers geometric… Religious subjects find their place in the chapel which contains a mosaic in blue tones, paying homage to Mary. In the “black courtyard” a tomb and a throne known as “the sweeper” were built. On the wall of the courtyard stand 44 cathedrals surrounding the image of the Virgin represented above the large rose of Chartres Cathedral. The garden decorated with statues and frescoes leads to the “Blue Throne” then to the “Tomb of the Spirit”. Self-taught like Ferdinand Cheval, Raymond Isidore was only guided by the power of his imagination and thus founded his own chapel nourished by his multiple inspirations.

The visit to the Maison Picassiette, labeled “Heritage of the 20the century”, can last between 30 minutes and 1h30 and costs 9 euros (reduced rate: 6 euros, free for under 6s). Located in a residential area of ​​the town of Chartes, it is accessible on foot in around 10 minutes from the historic center, or by bus.