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Artist Biography

 A devoted Quaker missionary and one of America's best-known painters in naive style, Edward Hicks was self-taught.

He was born in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and orphaned, was raised by the Twining family. He apprenticed to a carriage maker and decorated coaches, tavern signs, tables, chairs and furniture. He joined the Society of Friends, which helped his recovery from alcoholism, and he became a preacher, for which he was most famous during his lifetime.

But he is remembered as a painter, and The Peaceable Kingdom is his most famous subject. He painted more than one-hundred versions of that theme, and his work is based on an engraved illustration by Richard Westall, English academician.

His studio was in Newtown, Pennsylvania in Bucks County, and two of his students were landscape painter Martin Johnson Heade and portraitist Thomas Hicks.

In October 1999 to January 2000, the Philadelphia Museum of Art held a retrospective of his work, examining his secular canvases compared to his religiously inspired paintings.


Michael Zellman, 300 Years of American Art