Who doesn’t enjoy a good puzzle? It’s a great pastime that can relieve stress, and it doesn’t involve a computer screen. In fact, similar to coloring books, jigsaw puzzles are enjoying somewhat of a resurgence among therapy-hungry adults. Some of the most enjoyable ones are reproductions of artworks, offering a good challenge while allowing you to get more familiar with details you might otherwise miss. Below, we’ve chosen some of the top puzzles that replicate famous art in world-renowned museum collections.
1. Pomegranate William H. Johnson Puzzle
Produced by the independent publisher Pomegranate, this puzzle is based on a painting by the African American artist William H. Johnson. The 1945 work is a full-length portrait of Harriet Tubman, part of Johnson’s series Fighters for Freedom, which honors African American leaders of the fight for civil rights. It’s now owned by the Smithsonian, but you can buy and frame this 500-piece jigsaw replica, which faithfully reproduces the painting in sturdy, well-cut pieces. It offers a pleasurable puzzle experience: there’s enough to keep you challenged, but large areas of clearly defined patterns, colors, and solid shapes offer moments of ease.
2. The National Gallery’s Vincent Van Gogh Sunflowers Puzzle
This 1,000-piece puzzle is made for and licensed by the National Gallery in London and features one of Van Gogh’s versions of his Sunflowers. The bright and tactile painting is one of post-Impressionist artist’s best known and is one of the jewels of the National Gallery’s main collection. Flame Tree makes this and other puzzles for museums—they’re known for their high-quality reproductions and deliciously challenging pieces for hours of entertainment. An extra challenging, though perhaps not intentional, element is the fact that the image on the front of the box is cropped—luckily, the full image is printed smaller on the back.
3. Pomegranate Diego Rivera Puzzle
For a gargantuan challenge, try this high-quality homage to one of the world’s most famous mural paintings. If you’ve had the chance to see Diego Rivera’s grand depiction of Detroit’s industrial history in person at the Detroit Institute of Arts, you’ll know that you can gaze at them for hours and still fail to take in every face, every piece of machinery, and every surreal symbol. This puzzle, which features thick, matte pieces, allows you to get well acquainted with the masterpiece and its remarkable details. Even in its small form, it manages to capture the depth and wonder of the original.
4. Clementoni Starry Night Puzzle
If you prefer to piece together something super-canonical, we recommend this dizzying rendition of Starry Night. Van Gogh’s impressionistic gestures and hypnotic whirls will set you on a mind-boggling hunt, with many pieces in varying shades of blue. The puzzle pieces are made of sturdy anti-reflection paper, and the printing quality is excellent, which is critical since you’ll have to closely examine every piece to differentiate among the similar colors and paint textures. Once you finish it, you won’t want to take it apart.
5. Galison Frank Stella Puzzle
For a slightly nontraditional puzzle, we recommend this abstract one, which consists of oddly shaped pieces, all die-cut to fit together effortlessly. Its final form replicates the curves of Frank Stella’s 1970 painting Firuzabad, which is in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection and features interlocking and overlapping circles in eye-popping colors. The limited color palette and bold lines make the sorting process a little easier, but the irregular edges make the task of interlocking them a tricky one.