1500, Art, Educa

1500, Educa, Leda Atomica, Salvador Dalí

Spanish brand Educa has a very nice collection of 1500 pieces jigsaw puzzles under the label of Museum Series. This version of Leda Atomica by the Spanish artist Salvador Dalí is just one of the many puzzles in the series. In order to get the attention of the prospective buyer, they call it A Collector's Item, and produce it in an elegant black box. Inside the box, you can find a golden tag with the title and the author. Later you can place that label on your puzzle and it will look like a painting in a museum. I am not particularly fond of Dalí, so I don't recall the reason why I bought this puzzle. Perhaps I thought I should expand my collection to puzzles out of my comfort zone. Or perhaps the price was very good and I didn't want to miss the opportunity. The colors of the box had faded out slightly due to the sunlight. When that happens, or there is any other damage to the box, very often store owners lower the price. Leda and the Swan The title of this painting is Leda Atomica. It is Dalí's version of the mythological topic of Leda and the Swan. Such topic has been...

Continue reading

450, Art, Waddington

450, Waddington, Diana Hunting, Peter Paul Rubens

Diana Hunting is a painting that belongs to the studio of Peter Paul Rubens that you can admire at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Thanks to the company Waddington (which years later would become Waddingtons) we have this small and delightful puzzle version. It is unfortunate that jigsaw puzzle brands are not publishing puzzles with classic art anymore. Perhaps that's why puzzle enthusiasts are still looking for these puzzles 50 years after Waddinton produced them. The pieces have a lot of very different forms. In fact, there are not any rows or columns, like most contemporary puzzles. For that reason, I wouldn't know whether the puzzle was complete or not just by verifying the pieces. It was a good excuse to put together this quality puzzle. The pieces are thick and solid. Due to the great variety of the cut, it was a very enjoyable experience (albeit short). Diana the Huntress In the center of the image we can see Diana, who was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature, associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She has the identifying crescent on her head. Several nymphs are surrounding her, and one of them is...

Continue reading

1000, Art, Flamenco

1000, Flamenco, Landing Place, Jan Brueghel the Elder

The name Brueghel is very popular among puzzle enthusiasts. There are four main painters with this name and they all belong to the same family line: Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Jan Brueghel the Elder, and Jan Brueghel the Younger. Very often, the jigsaw manufacturer just includes the name Brueghel as the artist and nothing else. Then, there is no way to know who the real author of the painting is. In the case of this puzzle, the only information in the box is Brueghel, but we have to complete the research and find out that the real title of the painting is Landing Place, and the artist is Jan Brueghel the Elder. Other versions of Landing Place There are two larger versions of this puzzle. MB manufactured a 3000 pieces version in 1981. However, the title in the box is The Cove, which is, in fact, a small sheltered bay, like the one that appears in the painting. I don't know what source did MB use to come up with that title. The fact is that there are virtually no references online to The Cove. Two years after the version by MB, Ravensburger published another 3000 pieces version,...

Continue reading

1000, Art, Selegiochi

1000, Selegiochi, Concave and Convex, Maurits Cornelis Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher is the creator of Concave and Convex, and he is one of the most interesting artists in the 20th century. One may like his paintings or not, but we must all agree that he is unique. In fact, most people are able to identify his work as soon as they see it, even if they don't know the name of the painter. Perhaps they just know he was the Dutch graphic artist that painted impossible stairs, upside down rooms, strange reflections... However, when they see one work, they know it belongs to him. For that reason, we can say that he is a quite popular artist. The M.C. Escher Foundation organizes exhibitions with his works regularly, and they always attract thousands of visitors. In fact, there was an exhibition in Madrid in 2017 for 8 months that showed around 200 works by Escher. It was one of the most visited in 2017. Concave and Convex and other dichotomies Escher got his inspiration partly on Mathematics and Geometry. Symmetry is a constant in the images he invents. For that reason, many of his paintings have a dichotomy in the title, like Concave and Convex in this case. However, we also have...

Continue reading

1500, Art, Falcon

1500, Falcon, The Fire Brigade Turn Out in Kultorvet, Copenhagen, Paul Gustav Fischer

Paul Gustav Fischer is the author of The Fire Brigade Turn Out in Kultorvet, Copenhagen. It is a very interesting painting depicting a fire brigade at work in the public square of Kultorvet, in the city of Copenhagen. Kultorvet in the Past Kultorvet was created after the large Copenhagen fire of 1728, which destroyed a large part of the city. For a very long time, even before the fire, that area of the town was a site for market trade. After that, it continued to be so until the 20th century. Today, it is a beautiful pedestrian area in Copenhagen. In the photograph you can see the square of Kultorvet around the year 1890, which was during the lifetime of Paul Gustav Fischer. In fact, he completed this painting in 1900, so we can say that it looked exactly like that. The main two buildings in the background behind the smoke appear clearly in the photograph. This was a very nice puzzle, although it was very difficult to assemble. It was not due to the image itself, which includes a lot of variety in details and colors, but for a problem with the jigsaw pieces. For some reason (aging perhaps, since it was...

Continue reading

2000, Art, Fame

2000, Fame, The Game of Cards, Raffaello Sorbi

The title of the this painting is The Game of Cards, and the author is the Italian artist Raffaello Sorbi. This is the first puzzle that I completed by the brand Fame. This jigsaw brand is not one of the most popular ones, but they have beautiful puzzles. Although they don't have a very large catalog available, they have been very careful in their choices. For that reason, most of their puzzles are very nice. They even have two large 5000 pieces puzzles that are extremely difficult to find: A Meeting by the Stile, by Heywood Hardy, and An Old Surrey Farm, by Robert Gallon. Cards and other Games The Game of Cards is a delightful scene where the painter has been able to capture the fun of the game. The way the four characters in the front are depicted is especially interesting. The man sitting at the table seems to be trying to understand, scratching his forehead. In the meantime, the woman sitting in front of him is explaining the reason why he probably lost. Everybody seems to be having a fun time. It is, in summary, a beautiful genre scene. Raffaello Sorbi completed, in fact, a whole series of paintings...

Continue reading

1000, Art

1000, Educa, The Prophet Daniel, Michelangelo

Educa has a very long tradition of great choices for their jigsaw puzzles, particularly in terms of fine arts puzzles. This 1000 pieces version of The Prophet Daniel, by Michelangelo, is a good example. They manufactured it in the early 80's. The box corresponds to the design of their earlier puzzles, long before they started to publish them in the beautiful boxes with stripes, or the elegant white box design of the 90's. The Prophet Daniel without the Lions This fresco painting is part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo painted a total of 7 prophets from the Old Testament. It was common to represent the figures of the Bible with the attributes that might help people identify them. In the case of the Prophet Daniel, the most important event in the tradition was the fact that they threw him into the den of the lions as a punishment, but an angel saved him. However, in Michelangelo's portrayal, there is no reference to the lions, which is very interesting. Instead, Michelangelo shows Daniel reading a great book, which is held up by a muscular figure from beneath it. It is interesting to note that the image of this puzzle corresponds to...

Continue reading

2000, Art, Jumbo

2000, Jumbo, In the Library, Johann Hamza

Johann Hamza was a painter of genre who was born in Kostelní Myslová, Czech Republic, on 21 June 1848 (although most online references indicate wrongly that he was born in Teltsch on 21 June 1850). He studied under Eduard Von Engerth at the Vienna Academy, and exhibited in Vienna, Dresden and Munich between 1879 and 1890. He died in 1927. We don't have a lot of information about him, except that he specialized in genre painting. He liked to depict everyday life by portraying ordinary people in common activities. At a very early age he was already a consummate craftsman who conceived his pictures with a lot of detail. He was very precise depicting the surfaces of all the materials, objects, and figures. This painting is a good example. Johann Hamza in his Library Jorge Luis Borges always imagined Paradise as some kind of library. It seems that perhaps Johann Hamza could agree with him, since libraries and books are common topics in his paintings. There are at least five works with the title In the Library, where different gentlemen are sitting reading in a library or a room full of books. Furthermore, some other works represent people reading, like An Old Man...

Continue reading

1500, Art, MB

1500, MB, Suburbs of a Paranoiac Critical Town, Salvador Dalí

The complete title of this painting is Suburbs of a Paranoiac-Critical Town: Afternoon on the Outskirts of European History, and the artist is the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí. Although Dalí has very strong supporters, he is not one of my favorite painters, and I don't like this particular work very much. I think I bought the puzzle because it was rare and it was a way to add variety to my collection. The puzzle was manufactured by MB. The image in the jigsaw puzzle represents only a part of the original. Surrealism is difficult to understand, and it is even difficult to relate the content of the painting and the title. Perhaps they thought it wouldn't make much difference to crop the image and leave out what I think it's a significant part of the content. The puzzle was very easy to assemble. It was completed during the summer of 2014. Once piece was missing and the puzzle is now offered for replacements at the Missing Pieces section. 1500, MB, Suburbs of a Paranoiac-Critical Town: Afternoon on the Outskirts of European History, Salvador Dalí, 79 x 60 cm, Reference Number 3753.23.

Continue reading