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Re-visiting Bruegel: the new Joe Vaux Big Fish Eat Little Fish

Our new 403 piece Joe Vaux Big Fish Eat Little Fish puzzle is going to be perfect for some puzzlers, and not-at-all-the-right-thing for other puzzlers, so let me tell you a little about it.

First of all, the image is a Joe Vaux re-envisioning of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's famous engraving, Big Fish Eat Little Fish. 

In the artwork, a father and son are in a boat, and the father is showing the boy the immortal lesson that (flemish translation from the Met)

"Look son, I have long known that the big fish eat the small."

This proverb is a reminder that the powerful (big fish) will, at times, exert their power on the less powerful (small fish).  

Bruegel's engraving portrays the theme big fish eat little fish fractally, and you can see the Hieronymous Bosch influence in the bizarre details:

Joe Vaux's version (below) is compositionally quite faithful to Bruegel's, but with Joe Vaux flair:

I'm a huge fan of the 16th century Netherlandish works in general, and have loved this Bruegel engraving and long-dreamed of making it a puzzle. However, we haven't been able to find a way to make this engraving into a satisfying puzzles, it just ends up very messy.

So we commissioned Joe Vaux to re-envision Bruegel's engraving, and we are excited to be bringing you this Bruegel-Vaux collaboration as a 403 piece puzzle!

Here's a sneak peek at the puzzle design, by Danny Song:

Overall this puzzle is kind-of-hard. 

There is a lot of connector diversity, which makes the puzzle easier, but Danny's strewn split connectors  all over the place (split connectors are where two outies together fill one big innie), making it harder to see which pieces go together. 

Also, while there are some fantastic themed whimsies, quite a few of the whimsies are multi-piece, so that keeps it from getting too easy (generally, the more whimsies, the easier a puzzle is).

Alpha-testing this one, I was convinced that I was missing a bunch of the pieces I needed, and at the same time could not see how all the pieces I had left were going to fit anywhere. In the end, the picture filled-in completely, but there were a lot of "Oh that's what goes there!" kind of surprises.  

Ready for some monstrous philosophical 16th-century Joe Vaux fun?  Sign up on the puzzle page to get an email when it's in-stock.



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  • Barbara on

    So looking forward to this one!


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