Edward Hicks (1780-1849)
Edward Hicks (1780-1849)
Edward Hicks (1780-1849)
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Edward Hicks (1780-1849)

Landscape with a Stream

Edward Hicks (1780-1849)
Landscape with a Stream
reverse bears original label hand-inscribed in ink Edw. Hicks to his beloved/ friend Mary Roberts sendeth/ Greeting; in its original walnut and tiger maple frame with old handwritten inscription in graphite Gunsmith Adkinson/ New Towne, Pa.
oil on board
8 x 10 in.
Painted circa 1846
By family tradition, the Roberts family, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Probably Hannah Doane (Tomlinson) Van Pelt (1837-1900), Pineville and Upper Makefield, Bucks County, Pennsyvlania
Clara (Van Pelt) Woolsey (b. 1872), daughter
William Van Pelt Woolsey (b. 1909), Lumberville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 1972, son
Acquired from the above in 1972
Eleanore Price Mather, Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdoms and Other Painting (East Brunswick, 1983), p. 201, no. 112.
Carolyn J. Weekley, The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks (Williamsburg, 1999), pp. 172, 208.
Williamsburg, Virginia, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Kingdoms of Edward Hicks, 5 February-5 September 1999, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 10 October 1999-2 January 2000, Denver, Denver Museum of Art, 12 February-30 April 2000, Cooperstown, New Jersey, Fenimore Art Museum, 3 June-4 September 2000, San Francisco, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, 25 September-31 December 2000.

Lot Essay

Poignantly inscribed by the artist, a label on the reverse of this work reveals that this landscape was a personal gift from celebrated American folk painter, Edward Hicks, to his “beloved” friend, Mary Roberts. Small in size and realistically rendered, the work diverges from Hicks’ oeuvre as seen in lot 1209 and is a rare illustration of another dimension of his talents. Nevertheless, there are elements in the composition that echo other paintings by Hicks. For example, a similar leaning central tree can be seen in The Residence of Thomas Hillborn in the collection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center. Also, similar curves of branches on the right hand side of the painting can be seen in many of his depictions of The Grave of William Penn (Eleanore Price Mather, Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdoms and Other Painting (East Brunswick, 1983), p. 201).

As noted in 1972 by the last family owner, William Van Pelt Woolsey (b. 1909), this work is thought to depict the Roberts family pasture in Bucks County. Woolsey further stated that the Roberts were related to the Tomlinsons, including coachmaker William Tomlinson with whom Edward Hicks lived and trained from 1793 to 1800. Although Mary Roberts has not been identified, it is possible she was Mary Roberts (1778-1857), the daughter of Amos Roberts (1756-1835). In 1846, around the time this landscape was painted, Hicks records in his memoirs the death and funeral of his “dear friend” Elizabeth Roberts, wife of “one of our aged members” David Roberts (Edward Hicks, Memoirs of the Life and Religious Labors of Edward Hicks (Philadelphia, 1851), p. 198). These individuals were most likely David Roberts (1772-1856) and Elizabeth (Stokes), uncle and aunt of the Mary Roberts noted above. Woolsey’s maternal grandmother was a Tomlinson and as he referred to the Roberts-Tomlinson connection, it is likely that the painting was inherited or somehow acquired by her in the late nineteenth century.

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