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

The Quaker minister and painter Edward Hicks is best known for his Peaceable Kingdom pictures, of which sixty-two exist. The paintings represent a messianic prophecy in the book 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.” During the 1820s, a severe rift formed within the Society of Friends. In this version of Hicks’s favorite motif, the split is represented by the shattered tree trunk, and the desire for peace between the factions by the menagerie of discordant beasts lying down in perfect harmony. The lion and his companion, the ox, were, for Hicks, symbols of redemption.

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