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Edward Hicks Painting the Peaceable Kingdom

Thomas Hicks, 18 Oct 1823 - 8 Oct 1890
Edward Hicks, 4 Apr 1780 - 23 Aug 1849
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 91.4 x 73.7 x 3.8cm (36 x 29 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 114.3 x 96.5 x 7.6cm (45 x 38 x 3")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Attleboro, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Edward Hicks was a Quaker preacher who made his living as a coach and sign painter. His life was directed by his religion, and in the pictures he undertook as a labor of love he returned repeatedly to a pacifist theme inspired by the prophecy in the Old Testament's book of Isaiah: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid." Portrayed by his cousin Thomas, Edward Hicks is here at work on one of the hundred or so versions of The Peaceable Kingdom that he painted between 1820 and the night before his death in 1849. His artwork was sold, bartered, or given away to his Bucks County, Pennsylvania, neighbors, and until the twentieth century Hicks was renowned, not as an artist, but for his ability to share aloud the "inner light" arising from silent spiritual contemplation.
(Hirschl & Adler, New York); purchased 1988 NPG
The provenance given by Hirschl & Adler: The Artist; his cousin, Edward Hicks, by 1839; his daughter, Susan Hicks Carle; her son, John J Carle; his son, Edward Hicks Carle, Charlottesville, Va.; her son, John J. Carle, II, Keswick, Va. until 1987
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 136