Edward Hicks USA

4-4-1780 Langhorne, USA – 8-23-1849 Newtown, USA

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Hicks, Edward

After young Edward Hicks's mother died when he was eighteen months old, a close friend of his mother's raised himand taught him the Quaker beliefs, which had a great effect on the rest of his life.

At the age of thirteen Edward Hicks began an apprenticeship to coach makers William and Henry Tomlinson. He stayed with them for seven years, during which he learned the craft of coach painting.

Dissatisfied with his life, he started to attend Quaker meetings regularly, and in 1803 he was accepted for membership in the Society of Friends.

In 1812 his congregation recorded him as a minister, and by 1813 he began traveling throughout Philadelphia as a Quaker preacher. To meet the expenses of traveling, and for the support of his growing family, Hicks decided to expand his trade to painting household objects and farm equipment as well as tavern signs. His painting trade was lucrative, but it upset some in the Quaker community, because it contradicted the plain customs they respected.

By 1816, his wife was expecting a fifth child. After a relative of Hicks, at the urging of Hicks' close friend John Comly, talked to him about painting again.

Quaker beliefs prohibited a lavish life or having excessive quantities of objects or materials. Unable to maintain his work as a preacher and painter at the same time, Edward Hicks transitioned into a life of painting, and he used his canvases to convey his beliefs. He was unconfined by rules of his congregation, and able to freely express what religion could not: the human conception of faith.

Although it is not considered a religious image, Hicks' Peaceable Kingdom exemplifies Quaker ideals. Edward Hicks painted 61 versions of this composition.

Movement: Naive Art
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