Fireflies: September Masterpiece: Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks         

Sep 17, 2012

September Masterpiece: Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks

Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks, oil 1833

Election year, 2012.

Peaceable Kingdom, 1833. 

Art can convey emotion, tell stories, and teach.  This is a great masterpiece to open communication with our little ones about America's providential history and even the topic of Biblical peacemaking.   

Notice the contrast between the children petting the wild animals in the foreground and in the background William Penn is making a treaty with the Indians.  Striking contrast, yet, childlike in its feeling. 

This is a beautiful painting based on the Bible verse: "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."  Isaiah 11:6

Hicks painted at least 60 versions of this painting from Isaiah 11:6.  He was mostly self-taught and studied the Bible along with his art.  

Perhaps you wish to use this wonderful masterpiece to introduce your young student(s) to the history of America during the colonial times, or at least to William Penn, the Quaker who founded Pennsylvania and treated the Indians fairly and kindly.  It would also be a great painting to help students understand the heart of peace and the concept of Biblical peacemaking or resolving conflict through the 4 G's:  Glorify God, Get the log out of your own eye, Gently restore, and Go and be reconciled.   

Edward Hicks was also a Quaker who lived in Pennsylvania.  He was originally a coach maker but became an artist and an art teacher later in his life and lived to be 69 years old.

1.  What does "peace" mean to them?     

2.  Why did the artist paint the children petting the animals?       

3.  Why do you think the artist painted the people in the background (Indians and the colonists) making an agreement in the background?

4.  How can they be a "peacemaker" in the classroom or in their home?  What should they do if someone hurts their feelings?

It is never too early to help our students not only experience great art but also learn about America's providential history and/or Biblical peacemaking where they seek first to understand and then to be understood.  What a beautiful painting to introduce this topic to them and to share ways they might think of to help bring peace to their world and God's kingdom on earth!

 by Laura Bird Miller, fine artist and art instructor Circle Christian School



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