(1780 – 1849) Edward Hicks was an American folk painter known for his “Peaceable Kingdom” biblical-based animal scenes, many which feature William Penn and native Americans. Raised with Quaker beliefs, Hicks apprenticed with a coach painter before working on his own as a coach painter. Strengthening his affiliation with the Quaker religion, Hicks began painting household farm equipment and tavern signs as a way to support his traveling ministry. The decorative painting, however, upset some in the conservative community because it went against the idea of plain living. He attempted to give up painting in exchange for a career in farming but failed. Reviving his painting career saved him from financial disaster. The 61 Peaceable Kingdom paintings he is now known for were not sold for profit, however, rather given as gifts to friends. The humans and animals in the paintings represent the idea of breaking physical barriers (of difference between two individuals) to working and living together in peace. Examples are on view in numerous American museums.
Edward Hicks (American, 1780-1849). The Peaceable Kingdom, ca. 1833-1834. Oil on canvas, Brooklyn Museum