1780–1849, American painter and preacher, b. Bucks co., Pa. A member of the Society of Friends, he became a noted back-country preacher in the conservative group of Quakers associated with his cousin Elias Hicks
. He supported himself by painting carriages, signs, furniture, and the like. Hicks's fame rests mainly on the painting The Peaceable Kingdom,
nearly 100 versions of which he is believed to have executed, 62 of them still extant. A completely untrained primitive artist who developed considerable skill during his nearly 30 years of easel painting, he borrowed many of his early animal groups from European engravings. His paintings, which also include farm groups and animal portraits, have great charm and appeal. In his day Hicks was known mainly as a preacher.
See biographies by E. P. Mather and D. C. Miller (1983), A. Ford (1985), and C. J. Weekley (1999); study by A. Ford (1952, repr. 1973).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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