Edward Hicks Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
4-4-1780 Langhorne, USA – 8-23-1849 Newtown, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Edward Hicks's mother died when he was a year and a half old, a dear friend of his mothers raised him and taught him the Quaker convictions, which greatly affected him the rest of his life.
At thirteen years old Edward Hicks started an apprenticeship with buggy makers and worked there for seven years, painting coaches and buggies. Disappointed with his life so far, he began to go to Quaker gatherings, and in 1803 he was accepted for membership in the Society of Friends.
In 1812 his congregation made him as a minister, and the next year Edward Hicks began traveling throughout Philadelphia as a Quaker evangelist. He did not make enough from donations to pay for his travel costs and support his growing family at the same time, so Hicks decided to expand his trade and use his skill at painting horse buggies to painting household objects and farm equipment as well as tavern signs (although most Quakers don't drink). His painting trade was lucrative, but it agitates some in the Quaker community because it repudiated the plain traditions and simple lifestyle they respected. So he gave up painting.
By 1816, his wife was expecting a fifth child and he needed money for his large family. A friend of Hicks' talked to a relative a relative of Hicks to talk to him about painting again to generate extra money.
Quaker convictions precluded an extravagant life or having excessive quantities of objects or materials. Unable to keep up his work as a preacher and painter at the same time, Edward Hicks decided to become a painter, and he used his paintings to convey his religious beliefs onto the canvas. He was unconfined by standards of his congregation and ready to express what religion proved unable to do, the human conception of faith.
Edward Hicks' Peaceable Kingdom (shown below) exemplifies Quaker ideals, although it is not viewed as a religious picture, he painted 61 versions of it.
Art Movement: Naive Folk Art.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.