Puzzling could be frustrating and stressful especially when you’re trying to piece in the jigsaw puzzles of a painting, entitled La Rendicion de Granada by Padilla. But more than those, I felt sad when I couldn’t get the part we started done. The pieces are fewer already, but we could not complete the picture. There are clues right there, but we still have a hard time finding them.
My curiousity won over me, so I tried to research this painting. It was about the Granada War which lasted for about ten years from 1482-1492. The war erupted during the rule of Isabelle I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, both Catholic monarchs, against the Nasrid Empire of Granada (located at Al-Andalus). The Christians won over the Granadans, ending the Islamic rule. This was comprised of a series of battles and military campaigns and not a continuous one. Later generations continued the spread of Christianity, and they managed to conquer upto the African Coast.
Last time, I kept on asking who invented the puzzle when I couldn’t find anything to piece in. My sister looked into it and gave me a name – John Spilsbury. It was in 1767; he cut out the countries in a map (which he attached to a wood) and it was used to teach students studying geography. She also showed me some pictures of old jigsaw puzzles, where there would be just a few missing pieces that you would puzzle, those were the types of puzzle before.
Right now, we have four illustration boards where we work on part by part. There are still two packs we haven’t opened yet, which we plan to when we finish almost all of the first two we started with (which luckily comprised of the two sides – left and right). I think my sister and I are a good team, she works on the abstracts like the clouds and the floor, while I piece in the faces and clothes of people in the painting. I was quite disappointed at our recent progress because we were really excited to finish those parts and move on to the next. We don’t get to puzzle often, just during weekends. Our cousins were quick to raise a disclaimer when suggesting activities, except puzzling what other activities would we like to do? Our dad was looking at it with a look on his face that says, that’s really too much. How could you finish it? But we are determined to, though we don’t know where to put it afterwards. Good question that has been raised by different people already and even us too. Just don’t tear it all apart again would be my wish. We can give it away, since we won’t be able to frame it. We can stick it to the wall or use as carpet or floor mats. Dad also asked, what if after we finished it, we found out that there’s a piece missing? My sister said before that we could just paint or cover it with something, or just leave it like that. This time, she said something like putting everything back to the carton and giving it as a gift. I said, noooooo, I don’t agree to tear it apart, just give the completed one (and it doesn’t matter if there’s a missing piece or two).
If the picture is a cartoon, we might be able to finish faster even if it’s 8000 pieces. We’re even tempted to open another one, a gift from my sister’s friend, which the illustration is Winnie-the-pooh, a lot better than what we are trying to piece now. A lot of patience is required, but it is a fun activity too and I think a good exercise for the mind. As I put some pieces, I find the intricate details of the painting on the dresses, the people’s expressions, the setting of the meeting, etc. I’m amazed at the art of painting, which after a mixture of colors and a few strokes, some vivid images comes out of the picture. I tried a hand on painting when I was little, but mostly just used the watercolour to add color to the pictures I’ve drawn, mostly cartoon animals.
We still have a long way to go, and with our back-ups retreating, it would be just the two of us – my sister and I. I think I won’t try another 8K pieces or more, but we’re definitely going to finish this. I’ll put up a photo when it’s done.