"Candy Vendor" by Charles Wirgman

These days, a candy vendor like this cannot nearly be seen. "Amezaikushi" -Japanese calling for candy vendor- can be found on festival days sometimes. The technique and tools of shaping candy are changing over times, same as the motif and shapes. Wirgman precisely painted each one of candy vendor's tools. Candy vendor used to bring all of his various tools in one box now he is sitting on.


Wirgman, Charles Candy Vendor 1877
oil・board 25.5×35.0 Tokyo National Museum

Around candy vendor there are women with baby on their back. Some are mothers and some are baby's elder sisters babysitting. They all are intently watching candy vendor's hand work. Candy vendor is in the first step to shape. He is blowing candy to enlarge. His quick hand move and delicate shaping work in the next steps are so various and fascinating that It is full of surprise to watch. It is easy to imagine that sweet candies in adorable shapes such as a small bird were supremely attractive to the kids.