American Paintings > Thomas Hicks - Sheep and Shepard


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Oil painting on canvas, signed lower right T. Hicks. Early painting from Thomas Hicks 1823-1890, important 19th century American artist-- from his 1845-9 period in Italy.
32" X 38" superb antique oil painting on canvas, signed T. Hicks, Rome. The canvas bears a stamp--we are fairly certain that it says Piazza di Spagna, and then a number, which is an address. The number looks a bit like 43 or 45. The Piazza di Spagna is the square at the bottom of the Spanish Steps in Rome.

In a museum arch style carved and gilded frame 41" X 49"

We have blacklighted the painting and found a 2" x 4" area of inpainting (from long ago) in the sky, just in front of the man's chest. Perhaps a few 1/2" long tiny spots in the lower quarter. No other inpainting was detected. There is some stable crackling--also only in some areas and not throughout--no chipping or raised areas. The frame has been restored and is in very good antique condition.

Artist's Biography:
THOMAS HICKS (1823-1890) National Academy Member, American. Birth place: Newtown, Bucks County, PA. Death place: Trenton Falls, NY. Profession: Portrait, landscape, and genre painter. Studied: with Edward Hicks (c.1836, at age 13); member of PAFA and NAD (before 1845); Europe (1845-49): London, Florence, Rome, and in Paris with Thomas Couture. Exhibited: NAD, 1839-91; PAFA, 1854-67, 1878, 1888; Brooklyn AA, 1861-79 Member: NA. Works : Modern Museum of Art; New York High School; North Carolina Museum of Art; Boston Athenaeum; U.S. Capitol Bldg.; Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Ctr., Williamsburg, VA (Edward Hicks) Comments: One of Hicks' earliest works was a portrait of his first cousin and teacher, Edward Hicks, painted about 1839 when Thomas was just a teenager. This painting has sold for $300,000 in auction. In 1849, after having studied in NYC, Philadelphia, and Europe, Thomas settled in NYC and became a popular portraitist, his style evolving from a soft and brushy manner to a highly realistic one. He painted many famous Americans, including Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and William Cullen Bryant. His portrait of Lincoln was reproduced as an engraving and widely distributed. He also painted genre scenes and landscapes, of which this is a very good example.. Sources: G&W; DAB; George A. Hicks, "Thomas Hicks"; Rutledge, PA; Cowdrey, NAD; Cowdrey, AA & AAU; Swan, BA; Rutledge, MHS; CAB; Tuckerman; Fairman, Art and Artists of the Capitol. More recently, see Baigell, Dictionary; and Naylor, NAD; 300 Years of American Art, vol. 1, 200; Falk, Exh. Record Series.

Additional Notes: Thomas Hicks paintings are now in at least 13 different American Museums: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University Art Gallery, National Portrait Gallery--Smithsonian Institution, Boston Athenaeum, Museum of Fine Arts, The Baltimore Museum of Art , North Carolina Museum of Art, The Newark Museum, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, National Academy of Design, New York Historical Society, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society. Needless to say, he is listed in all the major art reference sources such as,,, Davenport, Who Was Who in American Art, etc.

Provenance: The painting came from the estate in Flint, Michigan.