Nefertari Preceded by Goddess Isis, 2022-07-27

This was fun, and much easier than it looks, mostly because of the excellent Ricordi cut. I bought this puzzle in 2008, when some online stores still carried them. The lady in front is the goddess Isis, and she’s leading Nefertari (born. ca 1290 BCE), wife of Ramses II.

Nefertari Preceded by Goddess Isis, Ricordi Arte, 1000 pieces. Completed on July 28, 2022.

Child with a Dove (1901), 2022-06-16

An early Picasso from 1901, when the artist was only 20 years old. I’m afraid I’m not a fan of his later style, but I like this. The original, French, title is L’enfant au Pigeon.

Child with a Dove by Pablo Picasso, Art Stones, 1000 pieces. Completed on June 16, 2022.

I’ve written about some of this before, but I think now is a good opportunity to summarize all I’ve learned about the Ricordi Arte and Art Stones brands. Most of my information comes from various Facebook groups, but I’m fairly confident it is correct. For some things, I have personal experience (for quality and availability, mostly).

Ricordi Arte is an Italian brand that mostly does fine art puzzles. The puzzles themselves are glorious. The colours are vibrant (but usually not oversaturated) and the cut is a basic grid cut, but very precise. If you have a large area of the same colour, this is the cut you want. All in all, excellent quality.

Art Stones is (was?) the budget line of Ricordi Arte. Many vendors used to list Art Stones puzzles as Ricordi Arte, but there is no indication of the connection on the box. Sometimes Art Stones puzzles are of inferior quality (but still OK), and sometimes they’re just as good as Ricordi Arte puzzles (this was one of the good ones, but I’ve had one with extra pieces, for example). I also love the Art Stones boxes, because they are just big enough to hold the pieces.

While the puzzles are great, the company is, unfortunately, not. Apparently, they are rude and unprofessional, and most vendors have stopped carrying their puzzles because they’re a nightmare to deal with. They still have a website that you can order from (https://www.ricordi.info/), but I can’t recommend using that, obviously. I do, however, buy practically every Ricordi Arte & Art Stones puzzle I come across, unless I hate the image or it’s too expensive. Sadly, none of the vendors I buy from carry these puzzles anymore. It’s tragic that they can make such great puzzles and then fail completely at the business end of things.

The Temptation of St. Anthony, 2021-07-12

Great image and great puzzle! The cut was perfect, no danger of placing a piece wrong. I was expecting it to be more difficult, but this came together really fast because the quality was so good.

The Temptation of St. Anthony by Salvador Dalí (1946), Ricordi Arte, 1000 pieces. Completed on July 12, 2021.

Still Life II with Tropical, 2020-12-17

Lovely still life by Belgian artist Capeinick. This was enjoyable from start to finish. I bought it used for almost nothing, the box was in terrible condition, and the seller was almost certain there were pieces missing. Well, turns out it was complete and in great condition. Instead of pieces missing, there were two extra, from some other unfortunate puzzles ūüôā

While it wasn’t exactly easy, it was pleasantly challenging. Ricordi Arte puzzles are great quality, but unfortunately, none of the places where I buy puzzles carry them anymore, I just occasionally find one second hand. From what I’ve read in FB puzzle groups, they seem to be a nightmare to work with, which is why almost everyone has dropped them. Too bad, because the puzzles themselves are really great.

Still Life II with Tropical by Capeinick, Ricordi Arte, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 17, 2020.

I can’t help feeling the title is missing a noun after Tropical, but this actually seems to be the title both of the puzzle and the painting.

The extra pieces. The one with fruit (oranges?) looks like it’s from a puzzle that I would like to do.

Divinit√† nel vestibolo, 2020-06-23

A friend of mine brought back some puzzles that I had given away before my last move in 2013, and I decided to do them again.  When I last wrote about this, I had the brand down as Impronti Edizioni, but that was wrong. It’s part of a series called Art Stones (great quality, small boxes that don’t take up more space than they need to). I always thought Art Stones was an imprint of Ricordi Arte, but actually, there’s nothing on the boxes to indicate this. Both mistaking this for Impronti Edizioni and thinking Art Stones is part of Ricordi Arte must have come from the places where I ordered the puzzles since I used to list the details before I actually had the puzzles. More than one online store used to list Art Stones puzzles as Ricordi Arte, so perhaps there is some connection.

Anyway, Art Stones puzzles are no longer being produced (or at least, they are no longer availbale where I shop), which is unfortunate, because the quality is great and they have great images, too.

All the pieces are still there, and I was going to sell it, but I enjoyed it so much I’m leaning towards keeping it. I wrote about who the gods in the image are last time, so I’m not going to repeat myself here.

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Divinità nel vestibolo, Art Stones, 1500 pieces. Completed on June 23, 2020.

Sacred and Profane Love, 2020-05-16

A panorama puzzle from Ricordi Arte with an image by renaissance painter Titian (Tiziano Vecelli). The painting is known as Sacred and Profane Love, although the name is first mentioned about 180 years after it was painted and may not be correct.

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Sacred and Profane Love by Titian, Ricordi Arte, 1000 pieces. Completed on May 16, 2020.

I don’t usually mind missing pieces, but I would very much have preferred the missing piece to be from the dark areas of the puzzle and not from the face of a major character. To add insult to injury, I found the piece after I had already passed on the puzzle marked it “one piece missing”. I took the puzzle to the recycling room in our building, and about 10 days later I found the piece. I did post a message in our building Facebook group hoping to reunite the piece with the puzzle, but whoever took it didn’t see it. I’m so sorry I ruined this puzzle ūüė¶

It’s a long time since I’ve done a Ricordi Arte, and the pieces were thinner than I remember, but good quality, and a very good mix of piece shapes. There were some differences in shades in the darker parts, too, and it was quite enjoyable and not too difficult as a puzzle.

Lustratio, 2018-07-25

This is the second puzzle with the same theme. The photo is not good (sorry!), but you can see additional characters to the right. Also, more of the border on the top and the bottom is visible.

As a puzzle, it wasn’t all that easy, but not too difficult either. Quite enjoyable.

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Lustratio, Ricordi Arte, 1500 pieces. Completed on July 7th, 2018.

Lustratio, 2011-11-20

The puzzle shows part of a series of famous frescoes in the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii. The frescos show some sort of religious ritual (perhaps an initiation), but there are many interpretations. The title, Lustratio, denotes an ancient purification ritual.

I have another puzzle of the same fresco with a slightly different perspective, where the two people on the left of the image are missing but instead, there are others visible to the right of the seated woman.

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Lustratio, Ricordi Arte, 1500 pieces. Completed on November 11th, 2011.

Paradise Sunset, Starting

I decided to start on the 18 000-piece sunset-puzzle! It’s my first ever 18 000-piece puzzle, the largest one so far was 10 000 pieces. It comes in four bags of 4500 pieces.

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I had planned on grabbing a bag to start with at random, without knowing which corner I would start with, but turns out the bags are marked! I took A, so starting with palm trees and a temple.

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First I spread out all the pieces on tree large pieces of cardboard. At the same time I pulled the edge pieces.

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First connections.

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One section fits on my table, and my plan is to assemble each on a large Ravensburger Puzzle Roll¬†and then roll it up. I¬†only have two rolls, and both of those are in Dortmund, but I’ll try to find one in Helsinki. I’ll get the last one in Germany, I can get them cheaper there.