Edward Hick's, Peaceable Kingdom (above) is a painting I have always enjoyed. What the casual art observer might not be aware of is that he painted over 60 versions of this subject and a majority of the elements in this painting; the figures, animals and landscape, are based on images he saw in popular prints and paintings of his time.The beauty and vision occurs when these cribbed images are filtered through his mind and hand. He makes them his own.
Edward Hicks popped into my head this week as I was listening to the radio, the commentator was lamenting the fact that we live in a "mash-up" world, culture was not progressing but merely remixing the past. Only a social critic would make such a statement, artists know better, "thievery" has always been a part of the creative process.
To learn more about Edward Hicks read this book.