The Peaceable Kingdom and Penn's Treaty Artist: Edward Hicks (American, 1780–1849)


American Paintings and Sculpture

On view, 2nd floor, American Art before 1900

The Quaker minister and artist Edward Hicks is best known for his Peaceable Kingdom series. In the paintings, Hicks illustrated Isaiah's prophecy of God's kingdom on earth, where "Wolves and sheep will live together in peace, and leopards will lie down with young goats" (Isa. 11:6). As if to suggest the prophecy's fulfillment in America, Hicks inserts in The Peaceable Kingdom a group of Quaker leaders—including William Penn—who carry a flowing banner inscribed with lines from the book of Luke telling of the coming of the messiah. Setting his Peaceable Kingdom paintings in distinctly American landscapes, Hicks imbues the biblical message of such works with national overtones. Among the sixty-two known versions of the Peaceable Kingdom, the artist repeatedly included the theme of William Penn's 1682 treaty with the Lenni Lenape tribe. In The Peaceable Kingdom and Penn's Treaty, Hicks presents his subject in front of the awe-inspiring natural bridge in Virginia, providing an analogy between the Garden of Eden and the American wilderness.


Oil on canvas


24 1/4 × 31 in. (61.6 × 78.7 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of Robert W. Carle, B.A. 1897

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Bequest of Robert W. Carle, B.A. 1897, great-grandson of Edward Hicks, 1965.
  • American Art: Selections from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2023), 124–25, no. 53, ill
  • Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 18, 39–41, no. 10, ill
Object copyright
Additional information


Inscribed on stretcher "Painted by Edward Hicks in the 65th year of his age, 1845"

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