peaceable kingdom

Last night I looked down at my feet, where Sadie was sleeping beneath the desk with the two kittens. The peaceful scene of dogs and cats happily sleeping together, living together, eating out of the same food bowl at the same time, playing together, got me to thinking about the art of Edward Hicks (1780–1849), a Quaker preacher, artist, and sign painter who made his living decorating carriages, furniture, and household items.

Hicks is best known for a succession of paintings depicting the theme of The Peaceable Kingdom, of which he did sixty-one versions. These paintings represent the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 11:6: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

Hicks derived the composition, a popular nineteenth-century Bible illustration, from an engraving after a drawing by the English artist Richard Westall. The theme of a peaceable community of animals, with predators in repose with their prey, was one often used at the time as a political metaphor, and was adapted by Hicks himself to show the theme of peace.

I have thought of Hicks’ images often as I’ve observed our animals interacting at Estrella Vista and wonder to what degree we are responsible for their happiness. I’ve begun researching this question and have already turned up some fascinating information which I will share with you as I learn more.

In the meantime, enjoy these iconic images which are a reminder of an ideal we are pursuing here.


1 Response to “peaceable kingdom”

  1. 1 jeanne
    June 26, 2010 at 2:30 am


    This journal reminded me of a dream I had. I told you I lost my brother-in-law last year. It was very hard to accept. He was cat lover to say the least. He loved kittens especially. When he and my sister were first planning to adopt a child, (now a high-school grad) he was hesitant because he was not sure if he could love a child that was not naturally born from him. I laughed and told him that he would have no problem and I was certain due to the manner I saw him fall in love with his cats. (LOL!!!)

    Anyway, I had a dream last year after his passing. I was walking through what appeared to be a jungle and there was a cave with many lions and one got up and came toward me. I was so scared in my dream and tried to tell myself to be calm as to show the lions I was not fearful. Anyway, they all walked around me like kittens. Then a dog came running and barking (my first family pet of 18yrs-I believe) and I grew full of anxiety in my dream as he went running and jumped on a human sized wolf that ended up in a playful battle with my dog.

    I recently had a dream I was watching a live picture of Hatteras N.C., our favorite vacation spot and my brother-in-laws most favorite spot in the world. He even bought an ocean front home there. Anyway, I was watching this live scene (?) of the ocean and a cougar was running through the sand by the ocean.

    I believe these dreams were relating to him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: