Edward Hicks, who was also a Quaker minister, executed as many as one hundred versions of this painting. The theme is taken from the following passage from the biblical book of Isaiah, which is interpreted by Christians as a prophecy of the coming of Christ and the arrival of a peaceful world in which all animals and human beings live in harmony. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play in the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the cockatrice’s den." In this adaptation, however, Hicks augmented the original story by weaving it into a page from American history. The scene takes place in Hicks’s home state of Pennsylvania. Here, it is not Christ who arrives. Instead it is William Penn (British, 1644–1718), the founder of Pennsylvania and fellow Quaker. Penn and his comrades are depicted signing the Treaty of Shackamaxon with the Lenni-Lenape Indians. The agreement, which was supposed to establish friendship and peace between the cultures, did not last long, and harmony soon turned to discord.


  • Title: Peaceable Kingdom
  • Creator: Edward Hicks
  • Date Created: ca. 1848
  • Physical Dimensions: support: 23 7/8 x 31 7/8 inches (60.6425 x 80.9625 cm)
  • Contributor: Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; James G. Forsyth Fund, 1940 (1940:18)
  • Rights: The copyright status of this artwork is believed to be held in public domain. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is mindful of its responsibilities concerning the intellectual property rights of others, and works to protect images of artworks that are believed to be under copyright or to have other restrictions imposed by contract or policy. While the museum makes every effort to accurately determine the rights status of artworks and images of those artworks, the information provided may not be up to date. Any statement on the public domain status of a work is made by the museum in good faith. If you have any information on the rights status of a work contrary to or in addition to the information listed here, or if you are the copyright owner and believe the AK has not properly attributed your work or has used it without your authorization, please contact the Albright-Knox Art Gallery at digitalassets@albrightknox.org.
  • External Link: More information about the artwork is available here.
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Image Information: Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
  • Artist's Nationality: American
  • Artist's Death Year: 1849
  • Artist's Birth Year: 1780

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