Monday, 10 March 2008

God to Panini

Gallery of Views of Modern Rome (1758, Louvre, 231 x 303 cm)
Giovanni Paolo Panini 1691-1765

Panini! Calling Panini. Panini to reception please!

Sure you want me?

Panini! Giovanni Paolo Panini ... Italian artist born 1691 died 1765. Yes, you!

Oooo-er (as he shuffles to reception)

You painted Modern Views of Rome about 1758 .... ten foot wide by about seven and half foot high. You also did one called Ancient Views of Rome.


Well, that Doris Mash saw your paintings at the Louvre a couple of years ago and was mightily impressed with all those works of art within a work of art.

I was rather pleased with it myself and the whole concept of creating a painting that does the grand tour without having to actually do the grand tour. Cutting edge it was. Anyway, so they finally found a use for that old Louvre palace. Bit of a wreck last time I saw it and there was talk of a gallery sometime.

Yes, well, it seems Doris needs your advice.


Recently reminded of her love of your painting she remembered that tucked away in a cupboard was a jigsaw which Mr Doris gave her a couple of years ago ....

Wait a moment! A jigsaw? What is a jigsaw?

A jigsaw is a picture that has been cut into small odd shape pieces so that it can be reassembled.

Whoah .... you mean someone cut my painting into pieces? I mean, I'm honoured my painting is still around and has been appreciated but to cut it up?

No, of course it is safe. In this case a jigsaw has been made from a copy of the painting.

You mean just like the young artists in my painting who are painting copies of the paintings? Someone has painted a copy and that has been cut up?

Oh dear, let's not make this too long. Listen.... it is now the 21st century and it is possible to take an instant copy of almost anything, a picture, and to print it onto almost anything. In this case it has been put onto thin card and cut into a jigsaw.

So you are saying that instead of getting out there and painting one's own pictures one can just put together a jigsaw.

Indeed. It is one of my frustrations that humans find all these diversions and "things" to do rather than learn the great arts and crafts. But I digress.

So how can I help?

This particular jigsaw has 5000 pieces and when finished will be five foot wide by about thirty nine inches high. She was wondering, since you must be intimate with the painting, if you had any tips about how to tackle it. She's pretty much done the outside edges, except for one piece.

Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmmm.


People! I'd go for assembling the people first. They are distinctive aspect of the whole. Lots of small aspects.

Just a moment .... just listening in to Doris' thoughts. She is wondering whether you mean the people in the foreground, the people in the paintings, the people in the painted friezes, the people in the statues or the people in the carved wall friezes?

Errr all of them I suppose. It would be too hard to separate them. But wouldn't it be easier and quicker for her to learn to paint?

Possibly. But this human seems to have some sort of bloody-mindedness about her which could be called determination though she does worry if maybe she has some streaks of hereditary malfunction.

And just where does a person carry out this occupation? Painting the original was hard enough and required ladders and scaffolds in a studio. My assistants were very helpful.

It seems that Mrs Mash has only just realised that since her eldest moved out they have the top floor of the house and two rooms in which to work.

My goodness. And what would happen if one of these tiny pieces should be lost?

Ha-ha! That would be my revenge to these silly humans to not tell her that the edge piece she has not yet found was never actually there!


Chandira said...

Haha!! A 5,000 piece?? Wow. I'm a little wary about starting a 1,000 piece I found recently.
I don't think I have the attention span for 5,000 pieces.
Don't suppose you've tried doing online jigsaws? They're addictive, and I don't think they come in 5,000 pieces.. That's a lot.

Good luck!

Le laquet said...

Wouldn't god have known to tackle corners first? Not very bright for the almightly is she/he?

Steg said...

5000 pieces? I'm sorry. I'd be a gibbering ruin within half an hour!

So, no change there, then.....

Josephine said...

5000 pieces...?! What they said!

Very funny honey. Really enjoyed reading this. One day I'm going to be reading you in print you know...

(PS Am seeing Part 2 in which God tries to explain to artist that his other main legacy to civilisation was a large soft baguette-style sandwich which is available at a service station near you to eat hot if you ask the nice Polish teenager behind the counter to grill it for you...)


Doris said...

Well, I am not sure that I have the attention span either and still have an open mind that at some point I may just collect all the pieces up and give the lot away. I would never have chosen a jigsaw this big or this many pieces but Mr Doris bought it and he's probably never done a jigsaw in his life.

As for the online jigsaws - I have seen them. I prefer to handle something but best of all I love the wooden jigsaws from a company called Wentworth . Now they are wonderful, fanciful shapes and smell of wood. Almost yummy.

Le Laquet
LOL but God does know that I have done the corners and the edges all bar that missing piece. Actually, I really hadn't given much thought to it before I did the edges and then after that faced with a huge box of pieces I was somewhat stumped about what next - hence this post! I have sorted (of sorts) sky and skylines (from the small works of art); frames and red for the curtains. But those curtains come out vaguely red and mainly shades of brown in the small pieces. But I have now sorted out the people parts and assembled the odd few. So maybe there is something to doing the people first.

Ha-ha! It is enough to daunt anyone ... I think anyone who attempts such a thing is partly mad. So no change there then!

:-) to you reading me in print one day! I did think about bringing in the panini bread to the dialogue but it was going to get too long. Anyway, I haven't yet researched the origins of the panini bread name (is it to do with this Panini?) ..... and for the sake of details and correctness I gotta do that sometime :-)

Xtabay said...

Hi Doris!
Sorry I haven't "dropped in" for quite a while.
I really giggled while reading this one - you have outdone yourself, which is no mean feat!
I am a bit of a jigsaw fiend, though I think 3,000 was the biggest I ever did. My particular style is to divide the pieces up by colours on trays or in boxes and shallow bowls. Then you go picking out the pieces of a particular shade that you can easily identify as larger chunks of the picture and then work your way down to the smaller areas. Not easy with the subject matter at hand!
If it is any inspiration, my sister managed to put together 4,000 pieces of Picasso's Guernica, which is all in shades of grey... My advice was useless for that particular image!
Warmest regards,

Thursday said...

Gosh, what did I start with reminding you of Panini ....

Doris said...

How lovely to see you! I hope you and yours are keeping well :-) So your sister has done a 4000 piece Guernica by Picasso? I had to look it up and have to say that if she can do that where the colours are either, black, white, or a few shades of grey then I can do this one! Good grief ... there just had to be pieces that were apparently identical with not even fragments of colour to differentiate them. How long did your 3000 puzzle take and your sister's 4000 one?

Instead of bowls, I now have areas of floor dedicated to different colours or themes but only in a generalised sense.

I still haven't found the missing edge piece but I do have a couple of sections of 12-13 pieces joined up and and number of 2-4 pieces that are connected.

Great to hear from you - and do email me when you have time. My addy is on the blog. :-)

Indeed! My life as I know it is over. My marriage might be on the rocks.... all from the flutter of a butterfly wing elsewhere... ;-)

Tales from the Vienna Woods said...

Ah, the days of jigsaw puzzling... I woulld be afraid to start again... so addictive. I used to do the same ones several times- very soothing and relaxing. This was in my early teens when I had free time! Still remember the summer of 73, in the spare room doing puzzles, while my mother sat in the family room watching the Watergate hearings. The two are forever inextricablly linked.

Doris said...

Hi! :-)
I can't imagine doing the same puzzle more than once - except my little wooden Wentworth puzzle of an Egyptian frieze and it even has whimsies (pieces cut into unique shapes). But yes, jigsaw puzzling has a certain soothing quality for me .... maybe numbing even, and an escape from reality.

Your summer of 73 sounds unique and laid back against the backdrop of all that political drama .... ahhhh :-)

It is lovely to hear from you. I miss the chats with all the crowd!

Anji said...

Well, good luck.
I enjoyed the conversation!

It reminded me of when I used to stay with my granny. We used to put the tablecloth back over the puzzle to have our meals. The one I remember most was 'village Cricket' blue sky, green grass and teeny cricketers right in the middle

rashbre said...

I was once part of a group that assemble a jigsaw picture of a large vat of baked beans. It took several weeks of short jigsaw interludes to do it and someone kept putting piece in that didn't really fit.

I am still in therapy.

Chandira said...

Yeah, online jigsaws don't smell of wood! :-)

I haven't started mine yet.. Still a bit chicken.

Astryngia said...

A brilliant piece of writing! And an amazing commitment to 5000 pieces!!

Minerva said...

I have this puzzle too... I don't believe we have the same one...
And I am still trying to do the outside..