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Details & Cataloguing

Property from the Collection of Irvin & Anita Schorsch: Hidden Glen Farms

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New York

Edward Hicks 1780 - 1849
JONATHAN AND DAVID AT THE STONE EZEL
Painted in Newtown, Pennsylvania, taken from engraving by C. Tiebout after etching by James Akin after oil by William Hogarth; on the original red painted stretcher inscribed: PAINTED BY EDW. HICKS IN HIS 67TH YR.

oil on canvas
24 in. by 31 3/4 in.
DATED 1847
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Provenance

Estate of Leonardo L. Beans;
Sotheby's, New York, Estate of Leonardo L. Beans, November 21, 1980, sale 4479, lot 33;
Christie's, New York, The Gordon Collection of Folk Americana, January 15, 1999, sale 9052, lot 277;
Jonathan Trace, Cortlandt Manor, New York.

Catalogue Note

"Beside the Ezel, David and Jonathan embrace, as in the first Book of Samuel, chapter 20, and Jonathan bids David, his beloved friend, 'Go in peace.' King Saul, father of Jonathan, had sworn to kill David.  The two friends had therefore made a covenant that if an arrow from the quiver of the youth who is seen disappearing toward the city should fall nearer the Ezel stone than near David, he must flee.  'The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and they seed forever,' Jonathan intones.  Might they not, in their regalia, almost join the Indians of one of the Penn's Treaty oils as Hicks conceived it?  In any case, the painting is a votive of brotherly love meant to unite sharply divided Friends.  Like the Peaceable Kingdom that not so long ago turned up in Vineland, New Jersey, it is inscribed, '...painted by Edw. Hiscks in the 67th year.'  From somewhere in Bucks County the painting traveled to the shop of a dealer, where it remained until 1980.

What has remained unknown until now is that this vision of peace was actually derived, in part, from an engraving in the Hicks family Bible that is signed by both Isaac and Edward Hicks.  The detail of the Good Samaritan (Luke, x, 1:37)--engraved by C. Tiebout from an etching by James Akin after an oil by William Hogarth--was the source.  Akin was better known for his satirical subjects.  Isaac Hicks bought the Bible--published in Philadelphia in 1801--on February 23, 1802, and entered the date.  The Bible remained in the Hicks family until the 1970s, when the rare pencil sketch of a log cabin in a clearing was found folded inside it.  Hicks had eased the print out, pressed it into service, then returned it to its place.

Whether Hicks had drawn a circle around himself or become, for the time being, a pariah, his isolation served posterity in 1846.  But he was not ready to be shelved, even if his business suffered.  He broke out of his aloofness to drive to Warminster Meeting, by way of Whitemarsh, to see Sarah's sister Susan Worstall Phipps.  The call was one of the 'most heavenly occasions.'"

Excerpted from, Alice Ford, Edward Hicks: His Life and Art (New York: Abbeville Press, 1985), p. 210.

Property from the Collection of Irvin & Anita Schorsch: Hidden Glen Farms

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New York