View Full Version : Fravia Search challenge

December 28th, 2007, 17:23
+Fravia used to host "search challenges" every once in a while where he would challenge seekers to find something on the web.

A few years ago I saw a nifty motorcycle video and I had a need to find it again today. After spending half-an-hour Googling like crazy, I finally found it, and it was much more difficult to find it than I expected.

As such, I present the following search challenge: find a website hosting the attached video. (And no cheating by uploading it yourself to your own website!)

Good luck

December 28th, 2007, 22:07
A one second video. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

How do you desire the answer to this?


December 29th, 2007, 02:52
Hmmmm indeed. Presumably disa had a few search terms available the first time around. The only outstanding things I can see is the video effect and that's maybe an old Harley (maybe even WWII vintage?)

Googling for "freaky negative effects motorcycle video" didn't do much. The terms 'negative effect' and 'motorcycle' only gets into social implications of bikes in general.

So maybe there's a name for that video effect (which looks like some kind of frame overlap of differing grey levels) that could be used as a search clue? Is that effect what made the video "nifty"?

I'd like to key in on the motorcycle model and year, but it's too hard to determine that from such a poor quality image. (I know it certainly doesn't look like my bike, but I wish I had it )

What's that supposed to be anyway, Easy Rider on acid?

December 29th, 2007, 11:16
Can't be "Easy Rider!" The Bike is not a "Chopper."


December 29th, 2007, 14:22
[Originally Posted by Woodmann;71263]How do you desire the answer to this?

A URL to a currently hosted video of it would be fine.

[Originally Posted by Kayaker]Presumably disa had a few search terms available the first time around.... Googling for "freaky negative effects motorcycle video" didn't do much.

That's pretty much the search term I began with. As a hint, I'd recommend avoiding trying to search based on the motorcycle's make/model/year; that would probably be a dead-end. Stick with the "freaky negative effects motorcycle video"-type searches

December 29th, 2007, 18:36
No luck here, but a word to the wise: Don't put 'flashing motor-cycle (movie | video)' into Google Image Search when your boss is around


December 29th, 2007, 20:50
I got this,


Does it count Disa?

December 29th, 2007, 21:05

I got that one also when using the keywords flash and motorcycle.


December 30th, 2007, 08:45
Been seeking since this morning, no luck yet.

February 7th, 2008, 23:33

So, do we get a hint or is this thread dead? I hate unfinished challenges, especially when I've done silly things like look at the mov file in a hex editor for clues and been redirected to numerous pr0n sites while searching for things like, 'flashing, men in leathers and videos'. I found a lot of interesting videos...just not that particular one..


We need more search challenges

February 9th, 2008, 02:11
hah, now i have to remember how i found it in the first place. give me a little time to find it again and then i'll think up some hints.

February 9th, 2008, 02:26
whew.. found it again. not easy
well first of all, if you're not watching the video in continuous-loop mode, you're not getting the full effect of what's going on. i should've mentioned that earlier. so watch that first to appreciate it.

i originally saw this video in a university class on visual perception and cognition, so i began my search with site:.edu thinking that i'd find it on an academic website. i was wrong
don't waste your time restricting your search to .edu's.

and don't waste your time with looking for hints in the raw data of the video itself.

i'll post a hint in a day or two if no one finds it by then.

February 9th, 2008, 03:05
I think the appropriate response here is.. D'oh!

I found it in about 10 minutes (plus the 3+- hours previously). Still don't quite understand the explanation, but it's still cool, I love visual trickeries.

Wasn't looking for a spoiler, just didn't want this thread to die

In retrospect, I should have realized that the visual effect I/we were seeing was a critical clue and paid more attention to that (why am I seeing it), instead of just being dazzled by / accepting it, and using that question as a search clue.

February 9th, 2008, 12:29
Well I spend about 5h on it. Still no probant result (wandered alot on fravias page).
Nice challenge anyway.

February 9th, 2008, 13:29
congrats, kayaker. feel free to post your winning search term(s) when you feel like it. not sure if you want to give others some more time to try.

February 9th, 2008, 14:31
I forget the exact search terms that indirectly got me there. Initially I was trying to find it in terms of creating the digital effects of the video itself (flashing, negative images, etc.). While those might be useful search terms, and are indeed part of the effect, the subject matter was all wrong.

Then you mentioned the university course where you saw it and I started searching under a different category. Somehow I stumbled over a reference to the site and found the exact file you uploaded. The funny thing is, it was only after it was explained that I realized I was being fooled into seeing something that should be impossible in a 1 sec clip. I simply accepted the illusion without questioning it, that's why I'm somewhat chagrined

The question to ask yourself then, in 1 word or less, is what visual effect are you seeing or perceiving? Is that possible in the number of video frames provided? Ignore the fact that it happens to be a motorcycle you're looking at.

February 9th, 2008, 15:21
Found! I must say your and kayaker's reponse helped a lot in the search. After I knew what I was searching for it was a matter of 5-10 minutes. Gotta love google

February 9th, 2008, 20:27
I could lie but I will not.

I cant find it and I prolly spent 3-4 hours looking.
Even with hints I cant find it.

I must be thinking about it too much.


February 9th, 2008, 23:25
Maybe it has something to do with the "visual effect" which makes it "appear" that the motorcycle is moving, which it actually isn't!


February 10th, 2008, 14:34
Whoa, the great woodmann can't find it? However, according to JMI's reply I guess the 'googlemaster' did find it?

Maybe it helps that I found a pdf file first which contained an image of the motorcycle and a reference to the author of the picture. After that it was a piece of cake.

February 10th, 2008, 14:47
Had a little time to actually try searching this morning. With the clues provided, took only a few minutes to find this particular "clip" on the net. What worked for me was a three word search criteria.

This is NOT from that search criteria, but from a "reference" about the effect which we observed:

"... (what we see) can be explained by a biphasic temporal impulse response that modifies the stimulus delivered to motion energy sensors. It offers a basis for further research on temporal and motion responses in the visual system as well as a tool for animators and graphic artists to create consistent apparent movement from minimal external stimulation."

My initial search criteria actually discovered the creator of this clip, which I didn't realize at that moment. Or at least I hadn't gone through all the links before I thought of another criteria to use to search, which found a copy of what appears to be the original clip.

Apparently, an "improved" version of this effect actually won a prize in a competition.

[EDIT] Created a slightly edited version of my three word search criteria, which produced the clip as part of the first hit, even though the search criteria does not contain the creator's name, which I had already discovered.

Thanks to disavowed for this interesting challenge and the very interesting subject matter.


February 10th, 2008, 14:53
Interesting. The information you post about an improved version can't be found on the page I found. I wonder whether the clip is hosted on multiple pages. Well, it is the internet afterall. It probably is. Can't wait until the webpages can be revealed. After that I really would like to take a look at the improved version. I found the original already very interesting.

February 10th, 2008, 15:07

PM coming to you with the initial link I found, which contains a link to the "improved" version. I'll also give you my search criteria.


February 10th, 2008, 22:29
I still cant find the fucking thing.

At this point, I am so irritated I dont care.
Even though I will continue to look .


February 11th, 2008, 01:34
Woodmann, JMI's earlier post should help you find it:

[Originally Posted by JMI;72570]"... (what we see) can be explained by a biphasic temporal impulse response that modifies the stimulus delivered to motion energy sensors. It offers a basis for further research on temporal and motion responses in the visual system as well as a tool for animators and graphic artists to create consistent apparent movement from minimal external stimulation."

My initial search criteria actually discovered the creator of this clip

February 11th, 2008, 04:34
Damn! Got it!
JMI helped a lot...

February 11th, 2008, 17:55
It seems that you need An exact search phase to find it ?


(I did find it)

February 11th, 2008, 22:14
This is the latest search challenge from F+.

Good Luck.

There seems to be some technical difficulties uploading a .jpg

Here is the link:


February 12th, 2008, 01:08
[Originally Posted by Woodmann;72618]http://www.searchlores.org/searching_image_challenge_2008_1.htm

I tried Google-image-searching for the type of media, the type of day, the characters portrayed, and the location, but http://images.google.com/images?q=oil+hot+women+beach returned something different from what I was looking for.

February 12th, 2008, 18:00
This one proves to be hard... I tried several combinations in several search engines but to no avail... Let's sleep and start fresh tomorrow.

February 20th, 2008, 05:40
Any progress on this? I spent few hours looking for this one but nothing...

February 20th, 2008, 09:41
[Originally Posted by babar0ga;72809]Any progress on this? I spent few hours looking for this one but nothing...

You mean on the latest +F's riddle ? Actually there is quite a lot of hints on the Seeker's msgboard. I did not found it though.

February 20th, 2008, 10:43
Yes, i saw those hints. Also, nothing here.

It's hard...

February 20th, 2008, 18:10
Hmm as said in the challenge announcement, we should try to focus on the right part of the painting, because looking for paintings from the possible authors from this specific art movement (hopefully quite easy to situate in the time) is not an easy task, I start to think about someone inspirated by les maîtres en la matière.

February 20th, 2008, 18:24
I still have not found it.
I have found many that are close.


February 21st, 2008, 01:06
I'm certainly no art connoisseur, but on first impression (no pun intended), it doesn't strike me as Eugene Boudin's work as was suggested, though the subject matter and style are certainly similar.

Two things in particular, most of his paintings online seem "darker" than the search challenge image. Even when he uses the bright yellows, reds and blues, the sea and sky always look more brooding and ominous.

Second is that his faces almost never have any detail, sometimes completely lacking facial features entirely. Whereas the kids at least in the search picture have eyes, ears and noses.

The challenge image just seems sharper and bolder, there are clear outlines and the figures stand out individually when compared to many of Boudin's paintings, where you generally see a mass of humanity all kind of softly blended together.

But what do I know, I'm just talking out of my ass, don't think I've ever been to an art gallery in my life and normally wouldn't give such a painting a second look.

But from a reversers perspective where everything should be viewed with suspicion,.. it just don't look right to be Boudin. Art Zen?

It wouldn't surprise me if the missing part the ladies are looking at with a spyglass is a ship like the children are playing with..

February 21st, 2008, 01:30
I had that same thought. And of course, one of the hints was "what they were looking at."


February 21st, 2008, 05:34
Thou art right Kayaker, the lack of details on faces also eliminates Berthe Morisot. I started from Monet's paintings and looked at his master and the people he inspirated. Am I the only one to find a land on the (middle right corner) horizon ?

February 21st, 2008, 13:19
Pure speculation here, but I was "assuming" that they would be watching a departing ship, more than likely carrying someone of significance to the woman (women) and children, who are playing with such a ship.

I haven't found it either yet, but time has been limited for serious searching. Now I wish I had taken some Art classes in college.


February 21st, 2008, 20:29
What strikes me as odd is that someone would paint such a thing with the women looking at something but not show what they are looking at.

I would be very surprised if the painting was from a "master".
Since I have looked at virtually everyone who is a "name" as an impressionist, I think searching by a name will be futile.

Here are some of the keywords I have used, maybe someone can use them.

Sea, ocean, beach, seaside, seashore, waters edge, shore, victorian, women, children, kids, holiday

Lets figure this out together. Post your search words .


February 21st, 2008, 20:57

Under the Rules on the Search page, as Item # 3, it states:

The image pp_002.jpeg, published below, has been cropped on the right side (the signature of the painter was there), one wonders what the two ladies are looking at...

I took this as a suggestion that what they were looking at might also have been cropped, but, again, that is speculation from what was said. However, as you noted, it would be somewhat unusual to show subjects looking off into the distance, particularily with "glasses" of some type, without at least some hint of what they might be looking at, unless, perhaps the name of the painting would somehow identify what the "missing" object might be.


February 21st, 2008, 22:37
OK then........

We need to come up with some search words that will help us with what is missing IE;

Boat, ship, storm etc;


February 22nd, 2008, 02:04
It looks like the toy ship might be a French mutin cutter.



On a related and weird note...

"I need a name of the artist"

I say old chap(ette), that's just not cricket, wot?..


February 22nd, 2008, 06:50
After some googling and founding nothing i've decided to read a little about art of painting.
It seems that techiques used on this one are impasto and or sfumato.

I used those terms but still nothing...

February 22nd, 2008, 13:20
Ah! Thank you, babar0ga! Impasto. The first thing I noticed about this painting was that the paint was laid on very thickly with broad brush-strokes. Possibly with a paint knife, instead. I'm not enough of an art aficionado to know what that was called. I don't really see much in the way of sfumato in this painting, though.

[Originally Posted by Kayaker]I'm certainly no art connoisseur, but on first impression (no pun intended), it doesn't strike me as Eugene Boudin's work as was suggested, though the subject matter and style are certainly similar.

I agree. Boudin fits the bill for the general style, but the Devil's in the details. As you pointed out, Boudin's figures are usually vague and featureless. Another thing I noticed is that the painter of this work tends to outline his figures and other elements with a thin black line; Boudin doesn't appear to do that.

Which leads me to think that this work isn't true impresisonism, per se. I think it's actually an example of post-impressionsim. Here are a few descriptions I gleaned from the web:
Post-Impressionists continued using vivid colours, thick application of paint, distinctive brushstrokes and real-life subject matter, but they were more inclined to emphasize geometric forms, to distort form for expressive effect, and to use unnatural or arbitrary colour.

Post-Impressionism follows Impressionism. The artists involved were influenced by Impressionism although their work shares few similarities. Disinterested in recording light and color phenomena, Post-Impressionism is characterized by bright color, sharp, often outlined edges.

These descriptions fit the painting to a tee. The paint is thick, brush-strokes are disctinctive, and the colors are vivid (like the very red parasol and girls jacket, as well as the skin tones that are almost yellow or orange. The figures are composed of geometric areas which are nearly flat and of a single color, usually divided by one another by a deliberately outlined edge.

This would place the work in the late 19th century. This seems a better fit (to me) for the clothing, as well. They look less Victorian and more early 20th century to me, but I'm certainly no expert.

As for the location, I think there are several hints that painter is French. The toy ship does resemble a Mutin pretty closely. As well, a poster on the searchlores board suggested that the kneeling boy's hat was a traditional French naval design, the name of which I've already forgotten. I also think that +Fravia's comment about "sipping a nice glass of wine" might have also been a prod in that direction. France and Italy are probably the two countries most closely associated with wine making. Of the two, France is certainly tied more closely to Impressionism, while as far as I can tell, there were very few Italian (post)impressionists.

I'm reasonably sure that the artist is a fairly obscure one. For one thing, this wouldn't be much of a challenge had he chosen a Monet, or Pissarro. But more importantly, +Fravia states that not just "a part" or a "tiny part", but only a "very tiny part" of readers would recognize the image.

I haven't had any luck tracking it down, myself, but I think maybe I have a little more to go on.

I tried searching based on some specific elements of the painting, and I can offer this advice: don't try looking for the distinctive "red parasol". Unfortunately, there's another fairly well-known impressionist painting by that title (a Pissarro, I think) which completely jacks up the signal-to-noise ratio for that token.

February 22nd, 2008, 16:27
Nice work folks .

More words to work with.


February 3rd, 2010, 15:56
I'm thinking along these lines:
...sipping a nice glass of wine, to guess the time frame first

Bordeaux - Wine / Bay / City

French Regional & American Museum Exchange (F.R.A.M.E.)

March 20th, 2010, 21:24
During my spare time in the past month I've been working on the challenge and haven't found anything new. I did view the images at the FRAME's website but found nothing. I also wrote a spider to google image all of the artists names but found nothing. The WayBack archive also showed that the site had a change in 2008 which makes me wonder if they removed some stuff. Unfortunately I can't view the old site with it. I'm almost certain the painting was done in France given the clothing style and the sailor hat with the red pompon. Throwing image dimensions into search queries might be the next best thing to do. If nothing shows up...maybe it's hidden in a database that some search engine's can't crawl?

Anyways paul cezanne has a lot of work that's done on the same material and outlines a lot of his drawings in black. http://www.paul-cezanne.org/ contains ~500 pieces of art done by him but none of them match.

March 24th, 2010, 17:02
I'm glad someone necroposted this. I'd given up on it a long time ago, but I feel taking another crack at it. Has anyone even claimed to have solved this, or has this turned into the "Fermat's Last Theorem" of the searching/reversing world?

March 25th, 2010, 02:55
I think we're the only ones pursuing it. +F had said he found different sites with the picture, so even if it might be lost from one potential site, as suggested above, we must believe it still exists elsewhere.

It's frustrating because it seems it should be easy, the subject matter is so typical of a certain Impressionist period (red parasol, beach scenes, how-can-it-not-be-France, etc.)

My latest attempts have been to search vintage travel brochure collections, for inspiration if nothing else. I found a number from the late 1800's, featuring ladies in white dresses sporting red parasols on the beaches of France.. none are the comely lasses in the painting however...

March 25th, 2010, 19:33
I started this again last night with a fresh slate. I cleared my mind, drank a lot of cheap beer.

I tried the same search words on different engines and got different results.
I changed my keywords.
I changed my Boolean strategy.

I feel the biggest thing that is getting me closer is the era.
First thoughts were Victorian. No luck yet.
Edwardian follows Victorian. No luck yet.

Those were how the English (Britain) termed those era's.

Change to thinking French. Belle Epoque.

Still looking............


ps, searching with impressionist also.

March 25th, 2010, 22:13
Edit: Sorry my post didn't save right last night. Do you think fravia would mind searching video for the image? Such as a video about paintings in the 19th century and looking at the description? I wouldn't want to "cheat".

March 26th, 2010, 06:07
Why to not write a tool based on a webspider and picture matching? There are some good libraries like http://www.vlfeat.org/overview/sift.html to avoid to code from scratch the picture comparator. The idea should be to compare the target picture to the image search engine results (even the tumbnails).
Since the +F's picture is croped on the right we could only get the first left pixels columns as reference.
I'd like to find some free time to start this project... if people want to help me, you're welcome!

March 26th, 2010, 15:10
Random thought, but I can't help noticing that Fravia emphasized "time frame" rather than "time frame". Might this be some kind of subtle clue? Something about the painting's frame? If it is, I'm not "getting" it.

March 26th, 2010, 18:54
Thats funny TBone......

I was looking at it again tonight I noticed the same thing .


March 26th, 2010, 20:02
This is totally "cheating", but FWIW, TinEye was no help


Cool site to add to my image searching arsenal, though.

March 27th, 2010, 04:08
[Originally Posted by TBone;85831]This is totally "cheating", but FWIW, TinEye was no help

searched over 1.3717 billion images in 0.000 seconds

It still shows we're in deep shit to find this picture
How many are referenced on the WWW ? Does TinyEye crawls Google results ? (cause for this img format the result is quite the same although I don't know about resized samples)

Résultats 1 à 18 sur un total d'environ 1 310 000 000 pour +jpg (0,07 secondes)

What if it is not the correct file extension ? (I know this is not a good way to search for the image heh)
Résultats 1 à 18 sur un total d'environ 1 470 000 000 pour +gif (0,04 secondes)

(We can also use http://images.google.fr/images?q=filetype%3Apng to filter extensions rather than filenames however it returns less results)

it makes me head spinning and I only drank water yet

March 27th, 2010, 08:42
I don't think that using a picture archive is considered cheating, because searching on the web includes every publically available source, at least that's what I think.
Because of that you might want to have a look here:


It's a distributed digital picture archive for research and teaching.
You can sign up there for a one week free account. The archive includes 58 databases from universities, museums and the like. So far one was only able to use this archive when studying at one of the affiliated universities but now the offer the one week free account for everybody.

Good luck.

March 27th, 2010, 09:43
Hm...was curious why the word exist was underlined and it turns out there's a project started in 2000 for a open source database management system...

March 29th, 2010, 14:58
Oh, I know it wouldn't really be cheating, as such. It would just be an inelegant, brute-forcey solution.

That prometheus search is kind of interesting, but having gone through all 17 pages of the results for "impressionist" (and several other things besides), I'm pretty sure our painting isn't in there.

March 29th, 2010, 17:07
[Originally Posted by TBone;85862]I'm pretty sure our painting isn't in there.

True, I didn't find it either. At least it was worth a try
Guess we are searching with the wrong terms . Has anyone ever asked why Fravia named the picture "pp_002.jpg". Could "pp" be a hint at the artist?

March 29th, 2010, 17:24
[Originally Posted by Darkelf;85868]Has anyone ever asked why Fravia named the picture "pp_002.jpg". Could "pp" be a hint at the artist?

It's nice when someone has the same crazy idea as you. It doesn't seem quite as crazy then

That crossed my mind too and I started searching by name here


I don't think there was anything there, or I didn't follow up on the possibilities deep enough, but P.P. is still a good hook idea.

March 29th, 2010, 18:14
Something I noticed when trying a "hardcore" search of images.
(Hardcore meaning I am willing to look at every single image)

No search will display all the results. I will have to discover why this is.

BTW, is that Lenin looking in the barrel of toys? You know, the alt search image on +F's page.


March 30th, 2010, 11:35
"Hardcore"? Have you been collaborating with disavowed?

[Originally Posted by disavowed;72619]I tried Google-image-searching for the type of media, the type of day, the characters portrayed, and the location, but http://images.google.com/images?q=oil+hot+women+beach returned something different from what I was looking for.

I've wondered about the file name too, but somehow I doubt it's anything as blatant as the artist's initials. If it is, the some odd 200+ artists listed here...


...didn't have any obvious candidates for "P.P." In some ways, the "_002" suffix is a bit more interesting to me. It may just be that the original un-cropped image was "_001", but it could also be that the source image was the second in a series. Furthermore, the use of a three digit serial suggests that (if it is a series), someone anticipated that there might be more than 100 images. Maybe "pp" refers to the name of a particular exhibit, collection, or gallery?

Or maybe....? Hmmmm... *googles*

March 30th, 2010, 14:36
For what it's worth...what do you make of the column of darker pixels on the far right of the image? Is it a byproduct of the crop or was there something there? The darker pixels don't appear to run the whole length of the the image, only next to the sky part of the image.
(Just looked again at the image and it's probably nothing more than the result of the crop, but I'll leave the above just in case I'm wrong)

March 30th, 2010, 18:08
I never thought about the use of 002...................hmmmmmmmm


March 30th, 2010, 19:16
[Originally Posted by xenakis;85886]For what it's worth...what do you make of the column of darker pixels on the far right of the image? Is it a byproduct of the crop or was there something there? The darker pixels don't appear to run the whole length of the the image, only next to the sky part of the image.

I hadn't noticed that before. You're right, though. There's a thin, dark edge on the right side running not-quite parallel to the image border.

If I had to guess, I'd say that maybe the image was "physically" cropped by positioning it on a flatbed scanner such that the right side would be cut off, but the image wasn't quite straight on the scanner. The original image was probably a screened print of some kind (that is, it was printed using a patterned dither). The interference between the screening pattern and the scanner's scanlines can create a moiré pattern that produces bands of colors like the ones you can see in this image (mostly in the blue channel, but somewhat in the green as well). If the image is rotated slightly, the bands will be skewed at an angle, which is also seen in the image.


All of this adds up to a crooked scan, but I don't know how that helps us

A few other random bits of data:

1) The image was produced in GIMP according to the EXIF data.
2) The EXIF data is otherwise blank.

My thought earlier this morning was that "pp" might stand for "PowerPoint", and the "_002" was a slide number. I've poured through a bunch of PPT files (especially in the .edu domain) today hoping to find some magic lecture notes from an art history course (or whatever) containing our image, but I haven't had any luck. I really want that to be the solution, but it hasn't panned out so far.

I'm chasing down another avenue now, at least for the moment. "Petits maîtres" may prove to be a useful search phrase, but there are literally hundreds of them. Google almost gave me heart attack this evening when I saw "A model of a Dutch ship sits at his feet in the foreground" in one of the search results, but it was an unrelated realist painting

Robert Henry/Henri Fouques was looking good to me as a suspect, but there seem to be only a handful (just 4 or 5) of his paintings that seem to exist anywhere on the web, and none of them are The One.

March 30th, 2010, 19:45
pp_002 might be a PayPal item number (pp doesn't stand for PayPal)

(Fjalar Ravia's) younger sister Silja was to become one of the most distinguished painters of the Tampere lagoons.

March 30th, 2010, 21:34
I wouldn't read too much into that. Fjalar Ravia was a work of fiction

April 3rd, 2010, 23:59
I did a google image search on all french artists listed on http://www.artcyclopedia.com/ from the years 1800-1920. The query consisted of the artist's name "+promenade" but I found nothing. Going to try to get rid of promenade keyword and use beach instead.

Very doubtful this will return anything but has any try doing a base 64 encode on parts of the image? Maybe (but very doubtfully) it will show up on a usenet post <_<. Hopefully there's some places with +2 year retention rates heh.

One more thing we can try to do is limit results based on the year added to search engines. It existed before/during 2008. I have a feeling though this might not return anything of use.

Also I just found something interesting. If you google image for the "pp_002.jpeg site:searchlores.org" and use the color options under the advanced search options it matches for white. Hopefully the colors remain pretty steady on the cropped side. Lets what else search engines think about the image

I also got stop using google so much, it's a bad habbit.

Maybe it's also a possibility its hanging out somewhere on freenet?

April 4th, 2010, 18:19

I abandoned google on this one. Once I find it I will check the keywords for it against google and see what happens.


April 6th, 2010, 08:26
ya, google-image stuck.. i did bruteforce on picture size up to 1440W & nothing

btw, if ya want to look images.. there are variety sites like

but i found nothing.. not hot seller..

April 9th, 2010, 20:54
Yeah, I'm not sure that google will be any help on this one. One of Fravia's last public lectures was on searching sans google, was it not? One of the topics was going "local" with your searches. I suspect that perhaps his hint about determining the location of the painting was supposed to be a nudge in that direction. I'm probably not going to have much time to mess with this for a while, but when I do, maybe I'll try futzing around with some French search engines, or something.

April 13th, 2010, 10:36
Anyone have an Android phone? I think it could be cheating but take a look at this software http://www.plinkart.com/apps.html (just bought by google).



April 13th, 2010, 12:48
Not sure if it'll work, but if it does that'd prolly be a cheat.

Last week my daughter paid a short visit to see me. She's a professor in a faculty of fine arts and the chairperson of the department. I had a very hard time keeping myself showing her the painting and asking whose work it was.

I must admit though, that my underpinning reservation in not cheating might not be impelled just by my concern for the moral values but by the terrifying covert threat as once placed by Kayaker, which could be justified with this quote of him:

... but I'm looking for some Ahah! revelation when the answer is found, beyond the artists name and its location in cyberspace...

One thing I can assure you, it was the hardest search marathon that I have ever practiced which had returned completely sterile results. In my idle times I'm still searching for it, though not with much enthusiasm any longer.

April 13th, 2010, 16:08
Heheh, I wasn't thinking dark and sinister, but hey you never know

April 15th, 2010, 14:05
[Originally Posted by wbe;86067]Not sure if it'll work, but if it does that'd prolly be a cheat.

Last week my daughter paid a short visit to see me. She's a professor in a faculty of fine arts and the chairperson of the department. I had a very hard time keeping myself showing her the painting and asking whose work it was.

I've had thoughts about using Facebook to ask about the painting so you're not alone with evil temptations

Anyways, the boy's hat tells me the painting is from Germany. I am not even sure why but I have read a lot of history over the years (especially war history) so maybe I have seen a similar hat earlier.

Edit: I think I am way off about the hat.

April 15th, 2010, 19:09

I am currently searching online art galleries and it seems to be a better
technique than what I was trying before.

Someone look at Potthast again, he painted a ton of beach scenes.


April 17th, 2010, 02:12
I spent another 2 hours on this tonight. Still not much to show for it.
I'm beginning to think Fravia painted this himself...

April 17th, 2010, 02:58
[Originally Posted by disavowed;86151]I'm beginning to think Fravia painted this himself...

when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

April 17th, 2010, 19:09
I bet there is only one place on the internet that has that image.


April 17th, 2010, 20:58
Now in my own background training, we would have attempted to get someone into Fravia's home and office to search among his personal items, looking for clues. We'd even have someone check the walls to see if there were any paintings hanging there of interest.

But this would definately be cheating, and outside the spirit of the quest, not to mention be in considerible bad taste. But ... that's how governments operate when they REALLY want to find something out.


April 19th, 2010, 22:05
ARGH. *bangs head against wall*

Okay, I'm going to try something that might work:

I've discovered a truly remarkable method for identifying this painting. This forum is too narrow to contain it.

Now all I need to do is delete my account and never post again. If I'm not mistaken, this should result in someone posting the solution sometime in the next, oh...360 years or so.

Let me know how it works out. I'll be over here in my cryogenic chamber.

April 22nd, 2010, 03:35
because Fravia always tried to endure education over people..
then my guess is: with this challenge Fravia want force people just brooooooowse fine aaaaaaaaaart..

currently i looked at http://www.nationalgalleryimages.co.uk/
-subject - Land, Sea & City; it's not here

March 4th, 2011, 12:22
that this image might be something like an illustration (only). By this method (not beeing)
(socalled) fine arts, it underflies all academic art history radars...

Btw. He possibly not only wanted us to learn more about paintings, possibly he also wanted us to learn more about wine (and possibly beer too :-)
Has anybody of you searched the walls of one of his (was written somewhere) favorite
Pubs (the petit mort in brussels)? - I definitively consider a trip to this place some time..

kind regards,


March 5th, 2011, 02:03
I always liked the wine label art angle, seems poetic, even if it is wrong.

Believe it or not, there's even a Fravia Vineyards, though this is the only reference I can find of it:

2007 Fravia Vineyards/Custom Microcrush Cabernet Sauvignon (USA, California)
2007 Fravia Vineyards/Custom Microcrush Zinfandel (USA, California)


March 5th, 2011, 05:33
[Originally Posted by evaluator;86260]then my guess is: with this challenge Fravia want force people just brooooooowse fine aaaaaaaaaart..

March 5th, 2011, 14:44
[Originally Posted by Kayaker;89612]I always liked the wine label art angle, seems poetic, even if it is wrong.

You remember my dead ends :-O
The funny thing is that this challenge drives us _circling_around_ without dead ends.
(sorting the bycatch afterwards; but never leaving the game with empty pockets.....)

So I think I will make an expedition to brussels soon (far better idea than that of the poor guys
recently thought to visit the south pole, their souls rest in peace...)

Yes, in the times of the golden calf being consume and shareholder values, I like the idea of getting
lost in somehow more poetic narrow roads, even if they seem to lead to nowhere...
(I also share Fravia's strong dislike of all that commercial crap in the shops and the minds...

kind regards,


March 5th, 2011, 15:12
Hello Again,

Sorry for mixing words up: Fravia's favorite Pub was said to be
'A la mort Subite' (le petite mort _definitively_ is an other beast ;-)))

This Pub seems to have an old fashioned decoration (possibly
Its history goes back to 1910 which might be still in the time frame of the picture in question
(The hat of one of the boys is fashion of 1905...)

Definitively there are paintings(or framed reproductions of) on the walls:
The first picture on this page even seems to show some kind of Boudin-Like beach scene!!

My belly says I will have to swallow a few glasses of geuze (for sure also fine stuff, even if no wine)
and just to walk around in the city Fravia has spent some longer time ...

kind regards,


March 5th, 2011, 16:33
I'm sorry to intrude..

But after reading this and 'noting' evaluators reply and doing my own 'limited' search for it which led to 'many' fly by 'looks' at pictures..I then went back to pp_002.jpg page and tried to look and try to see..So what I saw was a man that knew of the 'paths' involved in thought..1 was the hasty 'creative' thought that is given by the 'aged' man looking in the trash can of toys..I think it means a great many things.. But I like this one..'look back in time for the toys that have already been created' and the other was the astute 'challenge' which was a enactment of the thought.. the 'under art radar' won't stop me from looking 'again'..

I hope the mind eases with what time gathered..

Regards BanMe

April 8th, 2011, 04:33
Good find marcovaldo, i have a feeling this may be the place...

April 9th, 2011, 09:32
Fravia said (at his time of writing) that the image can be find in different sites around the web, but, who's to say that those sites exists now-days? It may be lost , or trapped inside Wayback Machine (web.archive.or)... who knows?!

April 10th, 2011, 14:07
Well do 'we' know ?

I think the 'thought' of knowing is 'there', but not the thought of figuring a 'new' reaction. the same thing is not the same thing if you look at it 'over' time....

my 'insanely' cryptic answers to 'unknown questions' seem to baffle even me..

I mean what would it 'take' to fix the paths to 'congruent outcomes', what does it require to bend the 'past' to suite the institution of learning we have all come to 'want' and 'treasure' And maybe 'some of us' instinctively seek out...I do 'not' say 'edit' it.. I think rebinding and recasting it to the 'present', is at 'least 1' thought 'befitting' of what is 'still' given..

In Regards to the people that 'died' many 'times' for their thoughts..of 'course'.. o0

regards BanMe

July 2nd, 2011, 03:02
Decided to take another go at the challenge.

Is this kind of odd?

On the top of the page it says

First published: end January 2008
updated: 29/Jan/2008

Is there a older page? Way back machine didn't find anything.

I didn't check alternative domain names yet though...

Searched for searching_image_challenge_2008_ on a couple engines but nothing interesting turned up.

I'm curious if there's anything he removed from the older page when updating ... Maybe he even updated the older page with more info?

July 5th, 2011, 00:51
He could have been correcting a typo for all we know. But then, there are uncorrected typos in the text anyway.

The thing I've always wondered about is the "hints already scattered around" as +F put it.

The word "wine" is underlined. What is the association with wine? Suggesting the locale is a wine-producing region? The painting is actually a wine label as has been suggested? Does it hint to a favorite +F wine that could be a clue?

"guess the time frame first"

If he wanted us to guess the 'time frame', why is the word "frame" in particular underlined and not "time" or the whole phrase "time frame"? Did he write it that way as in meaning 'time period', or to emphasize that the original painting 'frame' might have some significance? Maybe that's just reading too much into it..

"one wonders what the two ladies are looking at..."

We've already mulled over that - perhaps an approaching ship, possibly the same type the boy is playing with. That hasn't borne any fruit yet.

"individuate the possible geographic areas..."

Been there, done that, result as above.

Out of curiousity, has anyone found the "alternative" image challenge?

July 5th, 2011, 20:46

I have interpreted the clues pretty much the same as you.
Although I didnt pay much attention to the wine clue
other than to narrow the region of the world that had
clothing of that style.

I don't really pay much attention to the words underlined
because he is writing in English. While that might not matter to
some people, I viewed it as a non-English speaking person trying to
emphasis words but maybe choosing the wrong one?

He spoke English perfectly for the most part but I am sure he was
not taught English in school as a child. This might be presumptuous
of me but he was older than myself. He could have studied the English
language in university.

If his English was as intended then, the underlined words carry weight.

The alt pic I have tried and failed worse than the original challenge.

A bronze statue of Lenin looking at a trashcan of toys?


July 27th, 2011, 02:50
(Maybee find some time in August to jump off the threadmill...)

But just found a very interresting paper on impressionism, I want to disclose here
(Not read through yet, only noticed that the author somehow follows a path
that might be _quite_ helpfull ... [yes, and our picture is not in :-( ] )


Happy reading,


August 15th, 2011, 14:54
BTW, there is some funny possible way to find out image.
if we go to that kind sites which i did metion before, there is request form - in case you did not recover image in their database.
then you can send them image, so they will detect painting...
too much triky.. they will search for us..

August 15th, 2011, 16:43
[Originally Posted by evaluator;90897]BTW, there is some funny possible way to find out image.
if we go to that kind sites which i did metion before, there is request form - in case you did not recover image in their database.
then you can send them image, so they will detect painting...
too much triky.. they will search for us..

Why not send museums all around the world a letter asking them who that painting belongs too? Instead of using 'Online search engine' we use 'Live search engine'

September 17th, 2011, 02:12



I ... I finally got it! This has been bugging me for three years.

Here there be spoilers!

The painting is "On the Beach" (c. 1879) by Périclès Pantazis:

A very nice high resolution photograph of the painting apparently taken at the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Museum of Fine Arts) in Antwerp, Belgium in Dec. 2009 can be seen here:


And in several other places:


(Full size

Note the name of the image file -- "Πανταζής-Στην+παραλία,+1879.jpg". I.e. "Pantazis - On the Beach, 1879".

Also here:


I'm no expert on Dutch, but I'd hazard that "Op het strand" means "On the Beach". Strangely, the signature is very clearly in the lower left in this image. I don't know what to make of that.

As near as I can piece together from all of the above, it was once part of the Emfietzoglou collection (a gallery in Athens). It was sold at auction at Christie's in 1994*, but I'm not sure by or to whom. In any case, it now seems to be part of the "Vaamse Kunstcollectie" (Flemish Art Collection) at the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp.

* http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/pantazis,-pericles-1849-1884-1v3xjx7vl9-88-m-mk44cnkzq2

There are quite a few other Pantazis with similar titles: "On the Beach, Ostend", "Figures on the Beach", "A Ride on the Beach", and a painting sometimes called "On the Waterfront" or occasionally also "On/At the Beach". However, this seems to be a later painting by the same title. Some of the references to that painting call it "At the Beach II".

Interestingly, there's yet another painting by Pantazis called "On the Beach" which is nearly a mirror image of this one, only smaller and watercolor. It was sold at auction through Horta of Belgium in 1995 per:


It can be seen here:


Speculatively, I'd guess that it was the study upon which the oil painting was based.

Here's the real kick in the pants:
Fravia's image name? "pp_002.jpeg". PP. Pericles Pantazis. ... It was there all along! Damn it!
The wine hint: go read the wiki article on Pantazis. "A notable Greek wine businessman Jean Économou was particularly interested in his skills and commissioned a large number of Pantazis paintings."
Also from the wiki, do you remember how many times Eugène Boudin was fingered as the possible artist? Well apparently Boudin was one of Pantazis' primary influences during his days as an art student in Paris. We were so close

I wish I could claim some brilliant stroke of insight or awesome searching technique, but the truth is utterly mundane and honestly...lame.

A short while ago I noticed that Google added a new feature to their image search. If you drag image into the search bar, it will find similar/matching images a-la-Tineye. I've been using it for a few days to various other purposes. This evening I suddenly remembered my old image searching nemesis. Sure enough, it was just the blunt instrument I needed to crack this open. Google found exactly one site other than Fravia's challenge containing the image:


The content of the site was less than informative, but if you look closely, you can click on their little rotating ajax image banner to get a "lightbox" view of the current image. The very last of the six images is our (in)famous target. They didn't give the title of painting, but miraculously, they did give the name of the artist. It was all downhill from there; just 10 or 15 minutes of standard searching to piece together the rest of the info.

I guess the moral to the story is "perseverance > skill"

September 17th, 2011, 07:53



did very well!
Congratz. I think it's perfectly legal to use what is at hand.
Now the picture has been found really every hint becomes so clear.
What do we learn from that? Reversers are not the kind of people who hang around in museums and only a very small number of reversers and truth-seekers are from Belgium
There is one thing that really bugs me: this damn picture is even on Youtube (since 2008).
See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0iuen69Tr4 (the second last image)


September 17th, 2011, 10:26
Now that I've slept, I've noticed a few other funny and/or frustrating things:


A lot of people speculated that Fravia might have either owned the painting or else just scanned it out of some obscure coffee table art book he owned. I rather strongly suspect that the latter is completely correct. More particularly, probably from "The Emfietzoglou Collection: Modern and Contemporary Greek Art":


A little more searching on that idea turned up a lot of history:


Probably the Christie's auction in 1994 was in Athens, and the purchaser was Prodromos Emfietzoglou for his project to amass a collection of contemporary Greek fine art for public display. A little excerpt:

When in the early 1990s the Greek businessman Prodromos Emfietzoglou
acquired the famous painting "The Secret School" by late 19th century
painter Nikolaos Gyzis in a Christie's auction held in Athens, a
private collection that was already more than 20 years old came to the
public's attention.

Emfietzoglou � who bought the painting at the record price of 170
million drachmas (around 500,000 euros), outbidding the Greek state in
the process � promised to make his newly acquired treasure accessible
to all Greeks and sent the painting on a national tour.

"The Emfietzoglou Collection: Modern and Contemporary Greek Art,"
published by the collector himself, is a copious volume that follows
the history of Greek art from the late 19th century to present times
through the holdings of a private collection....


The book is a handy tool for specialists. Besides unraveling the
contents of this specific collection, it includes rich documentation
on each work....

...This is how the works should be seen and
evaluated — as the vision of an important Greek collector, a man who
has shunned the media and kept a sense of autonomy and a low profile,
yet is eager to share his acquisitions with the public.

Yeah, that sound about right . You can see where the speculation that Fravia might have been the owner comes from.

Any way, the Greek site I listed with the painting refers to it by that collection. The colorspace of that image most closely matches that of Fravia's challenge image. Also, it shows the artists signature, boldly and in red in the lower right corner, which is where Fravia said it had bee signed. But in all of the other photographs of the painting you can see quite clearly that it's signed in a dull rusty/red-brown color, much smaller, in the lower left. Probably the image from the book was cropped a bit and the signature just overlaid in the wrong location for the book.


The painter is a mere 2 "wiki degrees" away from the main Impressionism article.

Impressionism -> Les XX -> Périclès Pantazis

The dude kept some impressive company.

For ten years 'Les Vingt' (pronounced French pronunciation: [lɛ vɛ̃]), as they called themselves, held an annual exhibition of their art; each year twenty international artists were also invited to participate in the exhibition. Artists invited over the years included: Camille Pissarro (1887, 1889, 1891), Claude Monet (1886, 1889), Georges Seurat (1887, 1889, 1891, 1892), Paul Gauguin (1889, 1891), Paul C�zanne (1890), and Vincent van Gogh (1890, 1891).


Also one minor emendation/correction

Apparently the "Vaamse Kunstcollectie" (Flemish Art Collection) is actually just a listing of all the works held between 3 different Flemish museums, of which the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten is one. I can't say for sure, but I think the painting is probably still owned by the Emfietzoglou gallery, and is just on loan to the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. It's difficult to tell since the former has no web site and the latter doesn't say on theirs. I might email the Koninlijk Musem just to see if I can find out. Morbid curiosity, and all that.

September 17th, 2011, 11:35
Wow good job TBone!!!
Finally it has been found after so many years!!!!


Notice that:

Is different than:

they are actually 2 versions of the same painting. (check the details of the characters, the clouds, sand, the waves, the smoke of the ship.. they are different)
No wonder why you were bugged by the signature placement.

Here is fravia's (owned ?) initial scan on the original picture:

it aligns perfectly.

And the second version on top of the (fravia+original):

do you see the big offset in the children? the background and the women?

September 17th, 2011, 21:44
Holy O' shit...............

TBone be praised. You have a ton of questions to answer regarding how exactly you came to find this.


Now on to Lenin and the trash can of toys.


September 18th, 2011, 04:10
Congratz!! You're my new hero!!

September 18th, 2011, 09:39
Hi TBone,

Congratulation for your findings!

Fravia told us some nice lessons even after he left us :-O
Let's follow the way further down...

Kind Greetings,


September 18th, 2011, 10:23
uff i saw that google image search drag dropped the pp_02 and looked at few pages more than 2 months back iirc but wasnt able to land this

Congrats TBone

September 18th, 2011, 14:30
Excellent job, TBone!!

September 18th, 2011, 14:56
[Originally Posted by Woodmann;91079]You have a ton of questions to answer regarding how exactly you came to find this.

Well, like I said, it wasn't anything brilliant; I just got lucky with a new(-ish) tool. I was thinking that I can't have been the first person to try this, and I obviously wasn't. I would guess that the "foothold" page just didn't exist yet when blabberer and others tried it. It seems to be an advertisement for a conference "From Impressionism to Fauvre (Fauvism?)" which might have only recently surfaced.

I believe the exact chain was:

dropping pp_02.jpg into google image search, which gave Fravia's page and "Conférences - Arret sur images"


The jQuery (or whatever) carousel at the top has 6 images. The last one is the painting. If you click the center it gives you larger view which was actually branded with the artist's name:


Googled '"Pericles Pantazis" beach'. I came across several other related Panatazis paintings "On the beach, Ostend", "A Ride on the Beach", and "On the Waterfront", but not The Painting(TM). But from perusing his works, it was obvious to me that this was definitely the right painter. (Here's all of the above and a few others:


This also gave a tantalizing placeholder for an auction of a painting by Pantazis called "On the beach", but wouldn't you know, "Image Coming Soon":


I backed up and just googled "Pericles Pantazis". Read the wiki article. Laughed at the wine connection.
Google image searched for "Pericles Pantazis". Lots of paintings, but none the right one.
Tried a google image search with proper accents: "Périclès Pantazis". That gave this Flickr photo and a possible location of the painting, but not the title:


Thought back on the wiki and the wine hint and tried searching for "Pantazis" together with "Économou" (his wine-selling patron). This turns up a lot of regurgitations of the wiki article:


About halfway down the page, it starts turning up pages in Greek. I thought I'd try my luck with them. One of those links was:


I don't know why I even clicked on it, since the summary was just wiki regurgitation, but I'm glad I did. Further down the page, was The Painting. The javascript lightbox doesn't work, but you can paste the link destination directly into the address bar for:


That is, "Πανταζής-Στην+παραλία+1879.jpg"

I could roughly transliterate that Πανταζής = Pantazis, which suggests that the rest of the phrase was probably the title of the painting. Google translate suggested "On the Beach". Other translators/dictionaries gave similar ("ashore", etc.). At this point, I was fairly sure of the title, but I wanted to confirm with more than one source.

I noticed that the page above referred to him not as "Pericles" or "Périclès", but rather "Periklis", so I tried running a search fro "Periklis Pantazis" instead. That turned up this link on the first page of results:


Same painting, same painter, same title, same date. That was enough for me to consider it "confirmed". The same page provided a link under that painting titled "Emfietzoglou collection". It also gave an approximate size of the painting

Things get murky after that. Googling this that and the other about Emfietzoglou gave more history. Comparing the size of the painting to a number of Pantazis auction results that had turned up earlier during searching gave a very like match at Christie's in 1994 (right date range for Emfietzoglou's purchasing spree, too):


"At the beach, c.1879 Oil/canvas 17,7 x 29,5 inches (45.0 x 75.0cm)"

More confirmation of the title, and the size matches the earlier description of 40x70 cm.

Backtracking again to the Flickr photograph, the caption was "Périclès Pantazis (Antwerpen, Museum voor schone kunsten)". Googling along the lines of "Koninklijk Museum voor schone kunsten pantazis" turned up the listing of the Vlammse Kunstcollectie, which included this painting with the title "Op het strand" (Flemish translation of "Στην παραλία", I presume):


This one is 70 x 108 cm ... Hmmm...

I think that's the most complete post-mortem I can assemble. The pronoun prepositional confusion with regards to the title is probably due to the official title being Greek, not English. If we want to be technical about it, the painting is actually "Στην παραλία".

Now looking back at Bengaly's response, that's a really good catch. In reviewing the mess above, I can see that you're exactly right. There are two different versions of this painting, and they're completely different sizes. The the smaller, slightly wider aspect ratio one is from the Emfietzoglou collection. This is the one that Fravia presumably scanned from the book published by Emfietzoglou. This painting is signed in the lower right. The larger painting is signed in the lower left and is at the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp. And now that I look more closely, I can't get a firm date on that one. I would guess that it was painted after the original, though certainly not much later. Pantazis died in 1884.

[Originally Posted by Woodmann;91079]Now on to Lenin and the trash can of toys.

Oof. No such lucky breaks on this one. In turns up the strangest places:


But none of them appear to be the original.

September 18th, 2011, 20:39
Thanks big time for the detailed explanation.

And what a bizarre link for the Lenin image .


Go poke around this place: http://buildingsafety.com/

It is way to much like the final taunting from the ORC pages.

Someone has staged this page and I will find them.

Ohh, BTW, if you file out the contact us form it goes nowhere.

Errrrrrrrrr.........Maybe its not staged. I got a lot of digging to do.

September 20th, 2011, 04:36
Well done TBone. I don't feel quite so bad now, I too thought that the "pp" in the filename was quite likely the artists initials and did a lot of searching for that, but as it turned out none of places I tried (such as Artcyclopedia) had Periklis Pantazis listed anyway, so at least I didn't miss the obvious.

OK, so on to the Old Bald Cracker and the Trashcan of Toys. Oh, sorry, is the figure supposed to be Lenin?

I keep thinking this looks like a chocolate sculpture. Very well done if so, but still strikes me as edible. Now Belgium is very famous for its chocolate, and since there is a connection between Belgium and the first challenge image, might Fravia not have chosen these two images for that reason? Perhaps Fravia came across both originals while visiting Antwerp or Brussels and decided to use them both in a search challenge.

I've done a bit of searching for 'famous chocolate sculptures' but have gotten nowhere. And if it's not really chocolate art then I'm really barking up the wrong tree..

September 24th, 2011, 10:34
[Originally Posted by Woodmann;91088]Go poke around this place: http://buildingsafety.com/

It is way to much like the final taunting from the ORC pages.

Someone has staged this page and I will find them.

Ohh, BTW, if you file out the contact us form it goes nowhere.

Errrrrrrrrr.........Maybe its not staged. I got a lot of digging to do.

I don't think it's staged. It's just really, really bad and antiquated web "design". As for the image, I think it's merely coincidence in a manner of speaking.

Take a look at the soap box page: http://buildingsafety.com/Soapbox.html

Now do a google image search for "soapbox". There's one of his two images for the page. Now compare the images on their Search page to the GIS results for "searching" (searching for searching? :thinking. Binoculars guy is on the first row and, amusingly enough, Lenin and the trashcan of goodies (from the searchlores page) is about 5 rows down.

I think the site design process went like this: "Welp, I can't just have a text-only page; this is internet 1.5b. Hmm....I don't know how to create my own site graphics. Wait...wait...I've got it ! I'll google whatever word I'm thinking of and use that!"


You know, I always thought it was bronze or maybe pewter. But after looking through a bunch of images of chocolate sculptures, I think you may very well be right about that.

September 24th, 2011, 11:57
[Originally Posted by TBone;91124]


You know, I always thought it was bronze or maybe pewter. But after looking through a bunch of images of chocolate sculptures, I think you may very well be right about that.

Yeah I don't know. The trash can certainly looks like it could be milk chocolate, with the color, odd flecks and imperfections. The head could be glazed/polished so it looks bronzed in the light source. But the details around the hand make it tough, it's easier to believe it's made from metal from that area. But why paint a metal sculpture uniformly the color of chocolate?

September 24th, 2011, 22:42
I dont get either image in my searches of google.
You must have a special version.

cut and paste me the google search line you used
so I can check why I dont get the same result.


[Originally Posted by TBone;91124]I don't think it's staged. It's just really, really bad and antiquated web "design". As for the image, I think it's merely coincidence in a manner of speaking.

Take a look at the soap box page: http://buildingsafety.com/Soapbox.html

Now do a google image search for "soapbox". There's one of his two images for the page. Now compare the images on their Search page to the GIS results for "searching" (searching for searching? :thinking. Binoculars guy is on the first row and, amusingly enough, Lenin and the trashcan of goodies (from the searchlores page) is about 5 rows down.

I think the site design process went like this: "Welp, I can't just have a text-only page; this is internet 1.5b. Hmm....I don't know how to create my own site graphics. Wait...wait...I've got it ! I'll google whatever word I'm thinking of and use that!"


You know, I always thought it was bronze or maybe pewter. But after looking through a bunch of images of chocolate sculptures, I think you may very well be right about that.

September 30th, 2011, 08:16
Nice TBone =).

Since my last post I've been checking TinEye every couple of times a month, still nothing has shown up yet. Even the original uncropped image has no results.

While I was searching over the past year I actually glanced at "On the waterfront" mabey 3 or 4 times

Now that TBone found the image I'm interested in seeing other methods in obtaining information about the painting. Going to plug "impressionism" and "beach" in other languages and see if it pops up at all =).

Thanks again TBone, I'll bet Fravia would be happy!

September 30th, 2011, 21:44
I'm sure he is .


October 6th, 2011, 16:45
[Originally Posted by Woodmann;91131]I dont get either image in my searches of google.
You must have a special version.

cut and paste me the google search line you used
so I can check why I dont get the same result.

This soap box one is probably my fault. You need to search for 'soap box' (no quotes), not 'soapbox'. Whoops:


And this is what I get when I search for 'searching' (again no quotes):


The guy with the binoculars is currently the second image result, and baldy is a bit further down. Number 40-ish or so.

I'm amused by the possibility that I might have a magical version of GIS, though. This could explain a lot

October 6th, 2011, 21:42

Nice trail to follow. I never even bothered to look at any other
pages besides "about us" and "contact us".
I learn .

Thanks TBone .


But wait, we have not discovered the real image location.
Unless it is an original from building safety.

October 7th, 2011, 14:16
I doubt it's the original. Fravia published the challenge in January 2008. I checked on buildingsafety.com with the way back machine. Their crawls are pretty sporadic, so the chronology is pretty gappy. But that being said, the image wasn't on their site as of July 2007, and then it was as of May 2009. That leaves plenty of time for it to have obtained a good google image search rank for terms like "search" and "searching" (especially if you figure that searchlores.org content probably already ranked highly for those terms).

In the process, I also found a little more support for my theory that whoever created the site was just an amateur (lol FrontPage) googling for site graphics, and that was how trashcan man wound up there. If you take a look at the May 2009 version, this image was also on the searching page:


It is currently the #1 GIS result for 'searching'. Moreover, all of the images originally used on the searching page are in sequence, which also strongly suggests that they were collected at the same time:


It's a pain in the butt due to the mix of jpg and png, but you can brute force through all the images on the site. I bet all of them are high-rank images for some contextual keyword. For instance, this image:


Which ranks top 10 for both "coin jar" and "money jar". (As a completely unrelated aside, so does this: http://www.wakeupfrankie.com/images/colors/2471/resize_1584_ACC650.jpg )

Many of the images are duplicated in the series (Img13.png and Img21.png, for instance), and a few seem to be missing entirely or else they have some bizarre file extension that I can't guess (Img26 and Img28?). The series seems to end with Img44.png.

But aside from all that, the only version I can find at building safety is low res (110 x 130) compared to the searchlores version, so it's most likely a downsample anyway. If you pound through all of the images on the site, you can see that the creator has done this with at least one other image:

http://www.buildingsafety.com/images/Img30.png (big)
http://www.buildingsafety.com/images/Img25.png (little)

I haven't been able to "crack" that one's search term. I suspect that used to rank highly for either 'mail' or 'mailbox', because it seems to have originally been ripped from here (based on image dimensions):


If you poke around, you'll find a few other highly professional web designs that also decided to "appropriate" it for their contact page:


In any case, I don't think the site is some kind of elaborate hoax. I actually work for an engineering company, and I can tell that the site (correctly) employs a lot of specialized vocabulary that would quite difficult to pick up on without being in the industry. Also, it is a bona fide registered business in Arizona:


(owner name and mailing address matches domain registration, too)

October 7th, 2011, 21:02

Most of things I have already discovered.
I am thinking that perhaps the person who owns the site might
be familiar with +f.

It just seems so silly that a place that concerns engineering would
have a random link that says search with random images.
It reminds me of old tripod pages .

If he was looking for search engine ranking for his business,
don't you think he would have used things more pertinent to his
line of business ?

I'm just wondering out loud .


October 12th, 2011, 09:31
No, that's not what I mean. He wasn't trying some kind of weird SEO magic. I just mean that the images were (and mostly still are) highly ranked for the terms he was looking for at the time he was building the site. Which is entirely immaterial except that it made those images float to the top of GIS for him to see. Being the obviously discerning web designer that he is, he probably only bothered to skim through the first couple of pages of results.

I.e., he created, say, the soapbox page and then decided that he needed some images to go along with the text. You know, just to pretty up the place. But where can he find pictures suitable to the theme of a soapbox? Being not a professional web designer, he has no idea where to get stock photos. So he does the most logical thing: he does a GIS for "soap box", browses through the first page or two, and grabs a couple of images that he thinks look good and convey the theme of a soap box.

He goes through the same process for his other pages, searching for things like "coin jar" and "atm" for his payment page because he wanted a picture of...a coin jar and an atm. Ditto for the search page, which is how he wound up 3 out of 4 of the images still being within the first couple "pages" (this was in ye olden days of yore before it was AJAXified) of GIS results for "searching". The fourth image on that page (the text image that just says "Search" is probably further down somewhere in the results for "search" or "searching", but I'm guessing that at the time they were probably in the first page or three of results.

The amusing coincidence here is simply that lenin and the trashcan of toys just happens to have high GIS ranking for "searching". Anyone searching for searching-themed images will see it without having to scroll down/page through very much.

October 12th, 2011, 20:22

I like the alternative way you think.
Of course it seems logical to you but to me
it appears to be way too coincidental that those
images are used in such an ametuerish? way.

Does anyone else have some thoughts about this?


October 28th, 2011, 02:49
http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/5390/imagessearching09.jpg (http://img214.imageshack.us/i/imagessearching09.jpg/)

First of all, congratulations Tbone! An excellent job.

Now, on to the second challenge: Lenin? Chocolate?

Here is my CSI report on the image: The position of his chin is perfectly aligned with the curled collar of his coat which gives the impression that the figure has a goatee. The bald head (though he was not as bald as a coot) too contributes to the misleading idea that the figure is Lenin.

On the ideology side, what a man, who devoted his life to creating a socialist economic system, could look for inside a waste container which basically symbolizes the capitalist system? Capitalism does produce more wastes as compared to socialism (does socialism favor recycling?). Second: The design of the trash can is typically US. Garbage bins in the Soviet time had simple cylindrical or rectangular bodies with no corrugations at all. No! Wrong man is in the wrong place. That cannot be Lenin.

Chocolate? The color of the artwork is typical of a weathered brass material, either anodized or lacquered. The reflection of light on the bald head is characteristic to a metal, so is the color fading on outer edges which are prone to attrition. However, the grayish color of the exposed metal under the patches of wear close to the elbow on the left arm makes me think that it may well be cast iron.

Now, some serious stuff: What do you think the actual dimensions of this figure are? The toy car in the bin appeared to me very much lifelike. Focus on the white car to the right and on the ball in the middle. The details on the front right wheel are perfect. The color of the ball is vivid and shiny. It is very difficult to attain such perfect details with scales 1:24 and over. If we assume that toy car is ~ 8 inches long, do the maths for the complete figure. Second: Small objects are generally photographed in macro setting and with a ring flash or in a light box to eliminate or reduce shadows. However, this figure has shadows. There are three primary light sources located at SE, NE and NW positions. Looks to me very much like a studio shot on a pure white background. I suspect this figure must be something “big”.

The original one, in my opinion, does not have the toys placed in the bin. This may be a clue. Why dispose toys all together? What might the message be? Or, where to shop for such big “decorative” items? At which places they are usually displayed? Is this a park statue promoting recycling or a clean environment?

That’s all for now. I need more beer to crank my old brain up.

October 28th, 2011, 21:02
Hey you old geezer,

The things that lead me to Lenin are of course the bald head and facial features.
The coat is also something he has been photographed in.

I would guess the "sculpture" represents some form or irony in that
it is Lenin, a father of socialism, looking in an American trash can full
of capitalist waste. Perhaps he wishes he made different choices?

Is he looking for something that is missing from his life?

Does he envy the capitalists?

If it's not Lenin, then what makes that image so special that +f
thought it interesting?


November 3rd, 2011, 20:12
I've been trying to ID the car in the trashcan. I can't be certain, but I'm leaning strongly towards a 2006-2008 Saab 9-3. That...hasn't really helped me, though.

Based on the size of the scuffs and scratches and the level of texture detail (assuming bronze or brass), I'd guess that the whole thing is between 12-24" (30-60cm) tall. But I don't really base that on anything other than comparing it to photos of similar bronze statues of known height and my own intuition.

I don't think the balls are soccer balls or any other kind of ball. I think they're miniature globes. Specifically, do a google image search for "globe lapiz" (without quotes). You'll see dozens in the same style. You can see gold filigree lines on the balls, and they appear to be arranged in latitude/longitude fashion.

I'm uncertain what the other objects in the can are, especially the green thing. Possibly part of a propeller or rotor, but it could be almost anything. Cars + globe = travel themed maybe? Or possibly it's a commentary on globalism? Something about first world trash? Disposable cars, disposable planet? Maybe an environmental statement? That might fit with the raincoat he's wearing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but increased precipitation is one of the IPCC predictions, I think. If the car is a Saab, does that tie back somehow? The IPCC is based in Switzerland; Saab is Swedish, not Swiss.

I don't know. I'm just musing out loud.

November 3rd, 2011, 21:27
Muse away.

+f would want us to muse in an effort to find the answer.


November 9th, 2011, 17:16
Congrats TBone. This really was a challenge...
So glad is finally done. (:

Best regards