“The Peaceable Kingdom”

 

 

Bill Dalzell print, 'The Peacable Kingdom'

Edward Hicks, “The Peaceable Kingdom,”” multilith print by William S. Dalzell

 

 

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Isaiah 11:6-8

New International Version

 

6  The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.

7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.

 

 

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“The Peaceable Kingdom” is a painting by American folk artist Edward Hicks (1780-1849).

The attached print (see downloadable image above) was done by William S. (Bill) Dalzell, a Manhattan based printer, on his own printing press in the 1960’s. Dalzell had a printing business at 218 East 18th Street, where I worked briefly in the late 1960’s, in the same building. It was my first job in New York City.

Bill Dalzell was an admirer of Edward Hicks.

 

 

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From Wikipedia at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Hicks

 

Edward Hicks was an American folk painter and distinguished religious minister of the Society of Friends. He became a Quaker icon because of his paintings.

Around 1820, Hicks made the first of his many paintings of The Peaceable Kingdom. Hicks’s easel paintings were often made for family and friends, not for sale.

Although it is not considered a religious image, Hicks’s 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’s 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”. 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.

 

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Addendum: I read the The Journal of George Fox (1694) about ten or fifteen years ago. It made a great impression on me.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

      July 2016

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts a websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim Aleksandrovich Sorokin.
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