What inspired the Starry Night Great Wave puzzle?
Blue Kazoo have spent months finessing this masterpiece mashup - the two works of art stand above the rest even when they are by themselves, but when combined, you get a whole new perspective on both paintings and their respective artists. The creators of this jigsaw had a vision, and they really knew how to execute it! The way the 2 works of art are combined allows for us to see close-up exactly how they mirror each other, with Hokusai's arched waves really emphasizing Van Gogh's curly night sky when put next to each other like this. If we dig a little deeper into the actual histories of the pieces artwork, we discover that Van Gogh himself was inspired by 'The Great Wave', so, in a way, Blue Kazoo have just brought the Dutch painter's own imagination to life!
How long does the Starry Night puzzle take to complete?
This Van Gogh Puzzle Takes at Least 10 Hours to Complete.
Most 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles take at least 3 hours to complete, but this 'Starry Night Great Wave jigsaw' features so many shades of blue that this would be an incredibly impressive time! Reviewers point out that the colors of the print make it quite 'challenging', but its beauty makes the satisfaction you get out of finishing all the more worth it. However, if you are really struggling, Blue Kazoo have included a 2:1 scale poster so that, if needs be, you can use this for extra help in speeding things up a little.
Did the great wave inspire the Starry Night painting?
Now, time for some more history behind this 'Starry Night Great Wave' puzzle. Both Van Gogh and Hokusai are considered to be some of the greatest artists of the 19th-century, but did they really influence each other? We know that Van Gogh was a big fan of Japanese art, with over 500 Japanese prints of his surviving today. Hokusai was actually one of only 2 Japanese artists that we have record of Van Gogh mentioning by name, so we know for definite that the Dutch painter was aware of the creator of 'The Great Wave'. Carry on scrolling to learn more about Van Gogh's comments on Hokusai.
Was Vincent van Gogh inspired by Hokusai?
Look closely at Hokusai's wave here in the 'Starry Night' puzzle - Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother about this specific portion of the Japanese painting in 1888, saying the "waves are claws, the boat is caught in them, you can feel it". Just 1 year after this letter, Van Gogh painted 'The Starry Night'. Although this was when Van Gogh was in a mental asylum after cutting off his own ear, so we cannot be sure if he had his print of Hokusai's 'The Great Wave' with him, or if it was just a visual memory which inspired him. Regardless, it is evident from looking at the two side by side that the curves of Hokusai's waves mirror the arcs of Van Gogh's night sky, and this is brought together even more in Blue Kazoo's delightful combination of the two masterpieces.
What does the painting The Great Wave mean?
Hokusai's 'The Great Wave' is one of the most famous pieces of Japanese artwork, but its meaning is unknown to lots of people. At the time of its creation, Japan was an incredibly isolated country, thanks to both its island location and its restrictive political climate. However, it was also facing a wave of change as the rest of the world was rapidly industrializing - this is represented in the artwork by the waves which appear to be overpowering the fishing boats. Even Mount Fuji, a steadfast symbol of Japan which is featured in the background, is about to be consumed by these waves. In this block painting, Hokusai was also inspired by the linear perspectives of Dutch art, which managed to reach Japan despite its isolation. Although Van Gogh was born after Hokusai's death, it is quite beautiful to see all of this historic symbolism being brought together into this one big jigsaw puzzle!
What makes the Van Gogh Starry Night Great Wave jigsaw special?
We have all seen Van Gogh 'Starry Night' puzzles before, as well as 'The Great Wave' jigsaws, but this combination of 'The Great Wave' with 'Starry Night' is truly unique. The history and symbols behind both pieces of art make for great conversation, as you try and assemble together 1,000 different fragments of the paintings, to create a masterpiece of your own.