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Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks

Peaceable Kingdom, Edward Hicks

Edward Hicks was born in Pennsylvania in 1780. He is regarded as one of the finest primitive (self-taught) artists who ever lived, and is regarded as a master in creating patterns, line and form.

He created perhaps 100 or more versions of his 'Peaceable Kingdom'. The theme was based on the 11th chapter of Isaiah in the Bible. The people in the painting are William Penn and his following making a treaty with the Indians for the land on which Philadelphia was to be built.

Questions to Ask

What is the first thing you see when you look at this print? This is the focal point. The focal point is what first draws your eye, something that stands out.

What do you notice about the colors?

Have you ever seen a place like the one in the painting?

How many people do you see? How many animals? What kind of animals? What are they doing?

Do you think these animals would normally be seen together? Why or why not?

How did Hicks show perspective in this painting? Hint — overlapping and size variation

Where do you see patterns in this painting?

Activities for the Classroom

Bring in stuffed animals or small plastic animals and have the students take turns in arranging them in a 'Peaceable Kingdom'.

Hand out animal line drawings to color, and encourage students to use a lot of patterns.

Have children pick a herbivore name from one bag, and another a carnivore from another bag. Let the students act out a conversation the animals may have in a 'Peaceable Kingdom'. If there is time, let them draw their two animals, then put the drawings together for a class mural.

Think of a conflict example that is easy for the children to understand, like Snow White and the Evil Queen, or Batman and the Joker. Use cutouts or stickers of these characters or drawings, and let the students create a contemporary 'Peaceable Kingdom' classroom mural or classroom cartoon with talk bubbles with these characters.

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