William Thomas Kinkade III (January 19, 1958 – April 6, 2012) was an American painter of popular realistic, pastoral, and idyllic subjects. He is notable for the mass marketing of his work as printed reproductions and other licensed products via the Thomas Kinkade Company. He characterized himself as „Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light,” a phrase he protected through trademark but one originally attributed to the British master [[J. M. W. Turner]] (1775–1851). It has been estimated that 1 in every 20 American homes owns a copy of one of his paintings. Despite wide commercial success throughout his life, Kinkade is generally held in low esteem by art critics; his pastoral paintings have been described as maudlin and overly sentimental.