Edward Hicks


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(b Attleboro [now Langhorne], Bucks County, Pa., 4 Apr. 1780; d Newtown, Bucks County, 23 Aug. 1849).

The best-known American naive painter of the 19th century, active in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was a coach- and sign-painter early in life, but for many years he devoted himself to preaching—the pleasure he derived from painting conflicted with his austere Quaker outlook and caused him much conscience-searching. Some of his pictures are farm scenes or landscapes, but he is best known for his many versions (he reputedly made more than 100) of The Peaceable Kingdom (there are examples in several major American collections, including the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and the National Gallery, Washington). Exemplifying the pacifism of the Quaker society in which he lived, they depict with a vivid and charming literalness the prophecy in Isaiah 11 that all men and beasts will live in peace.

Subjects: Art.

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