Thomas Kinkade (born January 19, 1958 in Sacramento, California) is an American painter most widely known for his mass-produced prints. He is marketed as the "Painter of Light", a phrase he has trademarked.
His prints and paintings are distinguished by their glowing, highlights and vibrant pastel colors. Rendered in an impressionist style cross-pollinated with American Scene Painting values, his works often portray bucolic, idyllic settings such as gardens, streams, stone cottages, and Main Streets. He has also depicted various Christian themes including the Christian cross and churches.
Kinkade claims to be placing emphasis on the value of simple pleasures and that his intent is to communicate inspirational, life-affirming messages through his work. A self-described "devout Christian" (all of his children have the middle name "Christian"), Kinkade has said he gains his inspiration from his religious beliefs and that his work is intended to contain a larger moral dimension. Many pictures contain specific chapter-and-verse allusions to certain Bible passages.
Kinkade is, according to his own promotional website, America's most-collected living artist. Relatedly, he is often criticized for the extent to which he has commercialized his art (for example, selling his prints on the QVC home shopping network). Others have complained that his paintings are merely kitsch and are without substance.
There is even a Thomas Kinkade-themed community of homes, "The Village at Hiddenbrooke", outside of Vallejo, California.