Artist Spotlight: Ciro Marchetti
Air and water ships, old castles and ruins, steampunk machinery, and plenty of animals for good measure. What’s not to love? These common elements are just some of the reasons why I find myself frequently coming back to puzzles with artwork by Ciro Marchetti. According to my puzzle tracking spreadsheet (yes, I have one of those!), I have put together more than fifteen different puzzles featuring his artwork and have quite a few more in the to-do pile! I recently completed several in a sort of Ciro marathon, which really helped me put my finger on why I love his artwork so much..
One of my favorites in this Ciro-thon is Stargazer, a 1500-piece puzzle by Anatolian, because it is just so darn beautiful! I love the blues and purples in the night sky, and there was enough color variation that the sky didn’t give me much trouble at all. The astrolabe was fascinating to consider as I put it together, and I really like the overall composition of this artwork! There wasn’t “too much” of any one element, which, given the higher piece count of this puzzle, was important so I didn’t get overwhelmed. And the result was worth it—I love this one!
Also at the top of my list from my marathon is Tarot Town, a 1000-piece puzzle by PuzzleLife. This one includes several balloons and airships, which feature prominently in a lot of Ciro’s artwork. Sometimes you see very similar ships in his underwater scenes! Add in the general fantasy setting and the pop of bright colors from the rainbow and I’m sold. (My photo doesn’t show how vivid the colors are!)
One of the many things I enjoy about Cio Marchetti puzzles is that, although there is always a lot going on, I never feel like there are too many different sections to sort out.Evening Stroll, a 1000 piece puzzle by Cra-Z-Art (now RoseArt), is a good example. In addition to a pile for that amazing turtle, I could sort out animals, foliage, the tree, the ships, and the castle and not feel like I had too many piles for my limited number of sorting trays. This particular puzzle was holographic, so although I had to fight some extra glare as I was building it, the end result was stunning (though the holographic portions unfortunately didn’t photograph very well).
Another thing I appreciate about Ciro’s artwork is how seamlessly all the individual components are integrated. Some modern puzzle art frustrates me because the components don’t always feel like they belong in the scene, but the thought never crosses my mind with Ciro’s art. For example, in Sleepy Time, a 1000 piece puzzle by Vermont Christmas Company, all of the animals, flowers, trees, and the charismatic house look like they belong together, and all the shadows and textures feel appropriate.
I’m clearly not alone in loving Ciro’s art, because his work has been licensed by many puzzle companies, which means you can puzzle his artwork in a variety of cuts and piece counts. On the larger end of the scale, I also did Fantasy in Flight, a 2000 piece puzzle by MasterPieces. I loved all the pinks and purples in this one. As higher piece counts go, RoseArt carries Circus Parade, a 3000-piece puzzle in the Kodak line, and Clementonicarries a 6000-piece puzzle called Downtown. I have the 6000-piece in my to-do pile (the box is so big!), and I admit I’m a little intimidated because the biggest puzzle I have done to date is “only” 4000 pieces. But I hope to give it a try this year and will of course report back!
If 6000 pieces is a few too many for you, Clementoni also carries Ye Old Shoppe and Wizard’s Workshop, and if you haven’t seen your favorite brands represented so far, SunsOut also carries Zodiac Montage. I think Stargazer might be my favorite of this bunch, but there are so many other great Ciro puzzles out there. If you’re a Ciro Marchetti fan, let me know which one is your favorite!
- Gail, @jiggies_and_gems