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Pawnshop Treasure - Kinkade's "Prince of Peace"

By Jonathan Giaquinto, Jun 27 2016 03:58PM

Faith is important in the life of store owner Paul Howes, as well as manager David Rogers. The importance of their faith is made obvious by the painting hanging inside Crown Jewelers and Pawnbrokers - "Prince of Peace," by the late Thomas Kinkade.

Most famous for his paintings of quaint cottages, floral forests, sunrises and seascapes, Thomas Kinkade is known to be one of the most-collected painters of all time. Almost everyone has seen some of his works, such as "Homecoming Hero" and "Rosebud Cottage." Kinkade's paintings are usually composed of picturesque, mountainous landscapes, bathed in calming sunlight. The paintings are always very sublime and relaxing, and invoke a feeling of peace and tranquility.

Rarely do Kinkade paintings feature people, and rarer still are portraits by Kinkade. He chose to focus less on individual people and more on scenery. Occasionally, Kinkade painted people, such as "Homecoming Hero" and even a few featuring Disney characters. It was a total surprise when Thomas Kinkade, bored in the middle of an art school classroom, suddenly felt a vision that would later inspire one of his only portraits.

Kinkade described it this way: "How true this was for me in 1980 when, as an art student, I came to have a personal relationship with Christ. Just a few weeks later, awash in my newfound faith, I found myself sitting in an art class, my mind wandering. As I went through the motions, my eyes on the disinterested model posing for the class, I was suddenly struck with a powerful vision."

That powerful vision was "Prince of Peace." This painting is a close-up shot Jesus Christ from the shoulders up, as he is looking down with an expression of sadness and pity. The portrait is low-contrast and devoid of the usual warm glow found in Kinkade paintings. Rather than being a relaxing mountainous landscape at sunrise, this painting is a contemplative, intimate picture of Jesus.

Aside from being outside of Kinkade's usual scope of artwork, this painting is important on a deeper level. It may not make the viewer feel nostalgic and sentimental, but it reminds the viewer of the sacrifice of Jesus endured on their behalf. For this painting, Kinkade decided to take a break from his usual style of peaceful rivers and homely mainstreets, and instead call attention to an important truth.

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