The cover of "A Christmas Celebration" by Thomas Kinkade. One of the most successful and prolific artists of all time, Thomas Kinkade - the self-described "Painter of Light" - died Friday at the age of 54, apparently of natural causes.
Kinkade's paintings depicted scenes of a light-filled America with a heavy emphasis on home, hearth and church. His sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes in dewy morning light were beloved by many but were criticized by the art establishment.
The artwork of Thomas Kinkade, the self-described "Painter of Light," is said to be displayed in 10 million American homes, fostering a $100 million a year business - in lithographs and posters, wall and desk calendars, greeting cards, and other products.
Artist Thomas Kinkade unveils his painting, "Prayer For Peace," at the opening of the exhibit "From Abraham to Jesus," in Atlanta, Sept. 15, 2006. The artist died Friday at his California home at age 54.
Artist Thomas Kinkade, seen here in his California studio in 2001 during a visit by Morley Safer of "60 Minutes," was a self-described "Painter of Life."
Thomas Kinkade spoke of an affinty not only with American artist Norman Rockwell but also with Walt Disney, producing artwork that he hoped would make people happy." In "The Disney Dreams Collection 2013 Wall Calendar," Kinkade interprets classic beloved Disney films, such as "Beauty and the Beast."
The cover of Thomas Kinkade's calender, "Lightposts for Living: The Art of Choosing a Joyful Life."
An illustration by Thomas Kinkade from his "Painter of Light 2013 Day-to-Day Calendar>"
The self-described "Painter of Light" certainly found a suitable subject with his 2004 collection "Beacons of Light."
Thomas Kinkade's painting "Indy Excitement, 100 Years of Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
The cover illustration of "A Child Is a Gift," by Thomas Kinkade.
The cover of "A Sister Knows Your Heart" by Thomas Kinkade.
"The Garden of Prayer" by Thomas Kinkade, from a 2013 mini-wall calendar marrying the artist's work with passages from scripture.
A painting by Thomas Kinkade from his 2013 collection "Glory of the Seasons."
The cover illustration of Thomas Kinkade's collection 'Gardens of Grace."
The cover painting of "Let Freedom Ring" by Thomas Kinkade.
Pat Kinkade, right, and Jay McCosh unveil the new painting titled "The Lights of McAdenville" by Kinkade's brother Thomas during the 12th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Legacy Park in McAdenville, N.C., Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.
"Christmas in New York" by Thomas Kinkade. Kinkade, whose brushwork paintings of idyllic landscapes, cottages and churches have been big sellers for dealers across the United States, died Friday, April 6, 2012, a family spokesman said.