Saturday, August 17, 2019

"The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 - Robert Blum


Here's another jewel from the The Metropolitan Museum of Art that Kimberly and I viewed on our recent visit to New York. Robert Blum was an illustrator hired by Scribner's Magazine. He was able to spend eighteen months in Japan, and the details in this painting show how deeply he was able to immerse himself in the culture over that time period.

 "The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 • Robert Blum
 • 1893 
• Oil on Canvas 
• 17"5/8 x 14”

This is not a large painting (25 1/16" x 31 1/16"), and yet Blum is able to add an extreme level of detail. With the various patterns throughout the painting, the frame itself adds to the chaotic nature of the scene.


The way Blum handled the patterns in the fabric is breathtaking. It's also important to note that he used red on the foreground figure, which makes it pop right out at the viewer juxtaposed against the more muted colors surrounding it, and adds a further sense of depth to the painting.
 "The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 Detail • Robert Blum 
• 1893 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 17"5/8 x 14”
The candy blower becomes the center of interest due to the value contrast and rich color in his clothing, and also the fact that so many of the other figures are focused on his actions.
 "The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 Detail • Robert Blum 
• 1893 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 17"5/8 x 14”

I'm personally intrigued by the block letter "2" on the crate. It makes the scene appear to be almost a hybrid of the historical and the modern Japan.
 "The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 Detail • Robert Blum 
• 1893 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 17"5/8 x 14”

Photos by Kimberly at Saunders Fine Arts.
© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

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