Thomas Kinkade, the painter whose light-filled cottages surrounded by flowers defined an American idyll, had a life of riches and adoration - and skepticism and contempt. He was a pioneer in mass-producing, promoting, and distributing artwork, bringing him vast wealth. But his openly sentimental images, which evoked Christian themes of home and hearth, and of an American landscape blessed by eternal light, were often derided as manipulative and pandering.
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