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Thomas Kinkade, “Painter of Light,” Dies

Truth rating: 10

By Daniel Gates

(GettyImages.com)

Thomas Kinkade, the “Painter of Light” who became one of the best-selling artists in history, has died.

He was 54.

Kinkade’s death on Friday at his California home is being attributed to natural causes.

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

The massively successful painter was known for light-filled, sentimental depictions of homes and landscapes, and is said to have generated $100 million annually in art and merchandise sales.

While his mass-market appeal turned off many art critics, Kinkade’s images can now be found on display in an estimated 10 million American homes.

In an interview, Kinkade described himself as a “warrior for light,” explaining, “I’m trying to bring light to penetrate the darkness many people feel.”

He said he felt kinship with Norman Rockwell and Walt Disney in that he aimed “to make people happy.”

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