Most of us enjoy having art around the house, but only few can claim to have had a part in creating the art in question (apart from kindergarden drawings on the fridge). Art puzzles from Californian publishing house Pomegranate, however, let you experience a little bit of the thrill of creating a work of art. A leading museum publisher, Pomegranate is one of only a few companies that specialise in reproducing great art, then breaking it into tiny pieces, letting their customers be the ones that put the bigger picture together.
However, as is the case with most great works of art, a puzzle also takes time, requires patience, and puzzle builders have to endure a certain measure of that infamous creative suffering to complete their masterpiece.
When we started on our trial puzzle, depicting John Everett Millais' The Bridesmaid, we initially ignored the large areas of background and the eponymous bridesmaid's golden locks, making great headway with the more intricate parts of the painting. But the closer the puzzle came to completion, the slower our progress, as we struggled with dozens of virtually identical blue pieces.
Perhaps this stage of doubt and remorse was necessary to heighten the triumph of finally adding the last piece, similar to the final brush stroke, and completing the oil painting by the Pre-Raphaelite artist.
The Pomegranate catalogue encompasses 300-, 500, and 1000-piece puzzles featuring popular favourites like Hopper, Klimt and Escher, the great Impressionists Cézanne, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, but the most unlikely artist to feature on a puzzle is surely Jackson Pollock. The mind boggles at the thought of piecing together the American artist's drip painting Convergence out of 1.000 pieces splashed with abstract shapes of black, white, red, yellow and blue paint. Nonetheless, the feeling of actually completing the puzzle is probably accordingly satisfying: "The Pollock? Yeah, I made that."