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Twilight Vista

There are paintings that are nothing less than signposts along the path of my life. Twilight Vista is one of those. When I look at it, even now, I’m taken back to a difficult interlude – a time of doubt and discouragement. I was young when I painted Twilight Vista, struggling to find myself as an artist, insecure in my faith. I had to fight my way toward the personal relationship with God that has sustained my art and supported my sense of wellbeing.

I used my art in that struggle. Twilight Vista is a heroic landscape painting that I intended, very consciously, to symbolize my aspirations. I sought – and discovered – a vision of God alive in His creation. The vast mountains are crowned by a heavenly light. Water crashes down from the heights – refreshing, exhilarating, but also dangerous. Trees sink their roots into the cracks in the rock, clinging precariously to the sheer cliffs. Awe is the beginning of worship; God announces His presence in dramatic vistas, in flaming sunsets. I have been striving to evoke that sense of awe throughout my career.

In a sense, I understood myself to be like the trees. I held my place in God’s world with the passionate tenacity of my art, which even then I understood to be the roots of my being. As dramatic a mountainscape as one could hope to see, jagged clouds rise above the sow-capped mountains, forming a ghostly second range that towers heavenward. In the radiant twilight, the texture of cloud is only marginally different from the texture of rock. Both are majestic.

  • After visiting the Oakland Museum as a student, Thomas Kinkade was deeply inspired by the heroic landscapes – these paintings moved him to create his own majestic scenes, such Twilight Vista.
  • Twilight Vista mountain scene is partially based on the mountains in Yosemite, California, and partially the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York.
  • It has always been Thom’s goal to evoke a sense of awe through his paintings. With Twilight Vista, he truly felt that God had announced His presence in this dramatic and fiery sunset.
  • Thom painted Twilight Vista very early in his career, at a time when he was struggling to find himself as an artist and discover his faith in God.
  • As Thom struggled with his faith as a young artist, he compared himself to the trees in this painting – clutching onto the rock cliffs by their roots – as he clung to the importance of God in his life.
  • Although dramatic sunsets were very prominent in Thom’s early works, Twilight Vista is one of very few that depict such a grand mountainscape as well.
  • The original title for Twilight Vista was A View From On High.
Title Twilight Vista
Painted 1987
Published March 1999
Subject Location Part Yosemite, California and Part Adirondack Mountains, New York
Collection Archive Collection

Image Size

24" x 36"

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