Thomas Kinkade, 'Painter Of Light,' Dies At 54

California artist Thomas Kinkade, known for his scenes of cottages, country gardens and churches in dewy morning light, died Friday, a family spokesman said.

California artist Thomas Kinkade, known for his scenes of cottages, country gardens and churches in dewy morning light, died Friday, a family spokesman said.

Artist Thomas Kinkade at the opening of an exhibit in Atlanta in 2006. Kinkade died Friday at his home in California at age 54.

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

Kinkade's sentimental paintings were beloved by middlebrow America but reviled by the art establishment. They generally depict tranquil scenes, such as country homes with lush landscaping and streams running nearby. Many contain images from Bible passages.

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. He claimed to be the nation's most collected living artist.