Peaceable Kingdom

Artist: Edward Hicks (1780–1849)

Date: ca. 1830–32

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 17 7/8 x 23 7/8 in. (45.4 x 60.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, 1970

Accession Number: 1970.283.1

Description

Edward Hicks, a Quaker preacher and sign painter, painted approximately sixty versions of the Peaceable Kingdom. The painting represents the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 11:6: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." The presence of additional animals and children on the left is due to Hicks' inclusion of the seventh and eighth verses. Hicks derived the composition, a popular nineteenth-century Bible illustration, from an engraving after a drawing by the English artist Richard Westall. The theme of a peaceable community of animals was one often used as a political metaphor, and was adapted by Hicks himself. The artist sometimes included scenes of Penn's treaty with the Indians, intending Penn's flock to stand as a sort of partial fulfillment of the biblical prophecy.

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