Artist: Edward Hicks
Title: The Declaration of Independence, 1840-45
Oil on canvas
26 x 29 1/2 in. (66 x 74.9 cm)
Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch
Edward Hicks was a self-taught artist who first worked as a coachman’s apprentice. At the age of 32, he began to create paintings of biblical stories and historical events. His devout Quaker upbringing and paintings by well-known artists, like Thomas Sully and John Trumbull, were often sources of inspiration. Standing at the red clothed table, from left to right, is John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. These five men served as the “Committee of Five” charged to draft the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson would become the author, and the document he wrote addressed three issues: the rights of man and the need for revolution, grievances in support of a rebellion, and the formal announcement of independence.