Thomas Kinkade, a Disney licensed artist who painted glowing storybook scenes from Disney’s iconic parks and films, passed away on Friday, April 6, 2012. He was 54. Thomas’ portrait of Sleeping Beauty Castle at sunset for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary captured the essence of the park’s celebration. It was an instant hit with Disney art lovers and became the signature portrait for Disneyland’s golden anniversary.
His painting of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World titled “A New Day at the Cinderella Castle,” which included a double rainbow draping over the highest castle spire, showed a rare and enchanting moment at the Magic Kingdom. It was created for the park’s 35th anniversary. Thomas went on to develop the Disney Dreams Collection with Disney, and he painted romantic scenes with Disney characters set against magical landscapes. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, and Peter Pan to The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, the Disney Dreams Collection celebrates the greatest moments from Disney’s beloved stories.