Artist Thomas Kinkade Dies In Los Gatos Home

LOS GATOS (CBS / AP) — Artist Thomas Kinkade, whose brushwork paintings of idyllic landscapes, cottages and churches have been big sellers for dealers across the United States, died Friday, a family spokesman said.

Kinkade, 54, died at his home in Los Gatos of what appeared to be natural causes, David Satterfield said.

Kinkade called himself the “Painter of Light,” and his sentimental paintings, with their scenes of country gardens and churches in dewy morning light, were beloved by middlebrow America but reviled by the art establishment. He claimed to be the nation’s most collected living artist, and his paintings and spin-off products were said to fetch some $100 million a year in sales, and to be in 10 million homes in the United States.

His paintings generally depict tranquil scenes with lush landscaping and streams running nearby. Many contain images from Bible passages.

“I’m a warrior for light,” Kinkade, a self-described devout Christian, told the San Jose Mercury News in 2002, a reference to the medieval practice of using light to symbolize the divine. “With whatever talent and resources I have, I’m trying to bring light to penetrate the darkness many people feel.”

Before Kinkade’s Media Arts Group went private in the middle of the past decade, the company took in $32 million per quarter from 4,500 dealers across the country, according to the Mercury News. The cost of his paintings range from hundreds of dollars to more than $10,000.

According to his website, Kinkade’s paintings have been reproduced in hand-signed lithographs, canvas prints, books, posters, calendars, magazine covers, cards, collector plates and figurines. The website touts his Disney collection and offers a gallery locator, where fans can find nearby dealers.

A biography on the website said Kinkade rejected “the intellectual isolation of the artist” and instead, made “each of his works an intimate statement that resonates in the personal lives of his viewers.”

“I share something in common with Norman Rockwell and, for that matter, with Walt Disney, in that I really like to make people happy,” he said.

Kinkade was born and raised in the Placerville. He studied at the University of California at Berkeley and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

“Thom provided a wonderful life for his family,” his wife, Nanette, said in a statement. “We are shocked and saddened by his death.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. tn says:

    All this article doesn’t state the “why” or “how?” Most readers are also concerned about what caused his death, yet this article states nothing about it, nor does it say whether the family spokesperson requested privacy or if the reporter simply forgot to find out. What a gyp.

  2. A.F. says:

    Kinkade I kn ew from a frieind, who put in an alarm system in his home in Los Gatos. he even had a van Gogh in the house! I did not like his style – but for an Artist he made a big impact in thr Art world!

  3. Jolyne Dunn says:

    I loved his work. I only wish I could have owned one of his paintings. I could not afford to purchase one. The closest I came was a calendar.
    Condolences to his family.

  4. A.F. says:

    Thank you for your communication! Kinkade was a ‘larger-than’-life’ individual. He marketed his Art to the entire world! His works are mostly prints of paintings that he did, and put on canvas. He was a great guy to meet, and his untimely passing was a shock to us ALL!

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