Peaceable Kingdom Unfinished
Drawing - Ink On Paper
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, 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. Hicks painted 62 versions of this composition. The animals and children are taken from Isaiah 11:6-8 (also echoed in Isaiah 65:25), including the lion eating straw with the ox. Hicks used his paintings as a way to define his central interest, which was the quest for a redeemed soul. This theme was also from one of his theological beliefs.Hicks' work was influenced by a specific Quaker belief referred to as the Inner Light. George Fox and other founding Quakers had established and preached the Inner Light doctrine. Fox explained that along with scriptural knowledge, many individuals achieve salvation by yielding one's self-will to the divine power of Christ and the "Christ within". This "Christ in You" concept was derived from the Bible's Colossians 1:27. Hicks depicted humans and animals to represent the Inner Light's idea of breaking physical barriers (of difference between two individuals) to working and living together in peace. Many of his paintings further exemplify this concept with depictions of Native Americans meeting the settlers of Pennsylvania, with William Penn prominent among them.
Hicks admired Penn as an opponent of British power in America, and he hoped that Penn could help ensure reform. Like Penn, Hicks opposed Britain's hierarchy. Hicks most esteemed Penn for establishing the treaty of Pennsylvania with the Native Americans, because it was a state that strongly fostered the Quaker community
March 11th, 2016
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