Prince of Peace,” the ethereal portrait of Jesus painted by 8-year-old Akiane Kramarik, was resurrected from obscurity 16 years after it was stolen, mistakenly sold, and sealed away.
Now a 28-year-old best-selling author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Akiane–the curator of spiritual images highlighted by her otherworldly brushstrokes–explained that in painting her masterpiece, “Prince of Peace,” she was compelled by a recurring “visionary inspiration” to create the image of a “profound role model for humanity.”
At the age of nine, she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and displayed her artwork, all of which dwarfed her small frame, including a portrait of Jesus titled “Prince of Peace” that was inspired by her uniquely deliberate brushstrokes.
“You are clearly talented. Where does this originate? Oprah queried Akiane.
The juvenile prodigy confidently responded, “It is from God.”
A 10-year-old Akiane was asked in an interview how she understands that God is speaking to her. “Because I can hear His voice,” she replied. His voice is calm and beautiful.”
Inexplicably, Akiane’s family is not religious, and the concept of God was never discussed in her childhood home in a small town in Idaho.
“Art was not the only thing occurring. Akiane’s mother, Forelli Kramarik, who grew up in an atheistic family in Lithuania, stated that her daughter’s spiritual enlightenment occurred concurrently with her artistic development. “Everything began to transpire when she shared her aspirations and visions. And my ex-Catholic spouse did not adhere to the family’s beliefs. We did not pray together, have any conversations about God, or attend worship. Then, all of a sudden, Akiane began to discuss God.”
Akiane, who was home-schooled and did not have a caregiver or television, was not influenced by anyone from the outside, according to her mother. “Because we were always with the children, we realized that Akiane’s remarks about God did not originate from the outside. Suddenly, however, there were intense dialogues about God’s love and His place in our lives, and she would describe every detail.”
Akiane explained that the portrait was inspired by a pre-school-era vision she had. She stated that she would illustrate her visions through poetry and other writings, but it was too “complex to describe in words, so I painted.”
“She stated, “I always consider and discuss Jesus. I had been searching for a [Jesus] role model for a very long time, and when I couldn’t locate one, I suggested to my family that we pray all day for God to send the right one”.
A very tall carpenter, like Jesus, who was also a carpenter, appeared at the family’s door seeking employment after the family prayed. Akiane recalled that she almost passed out when she first saw him. “I confirmed to my mother that he was he. “I want him to be my role model,” she explains.
Akiane drew inspiration from the image in her visions and used the carpenter as a model to create “Prince of Peace,” an internationally renowned, now-priceless painting.
“Prince of Peace” was on its way to an exhibition, but it was stolen en route. The painting’s vivid and intricate techniques were uncommon for a youthful artist. A few years later, it was eventually returned to Akiane, albeit covered in sawdust from shipping, which she meticulously removed.
A clerical error thwarted the family’s efforts to share Akiane’s spiritually-inspired portrait with the world when the painting was placed up for sale instead of exhibition.
“Prince of Peace” was sold to a private collector, and after losing a protracted judicial battle to reclaim the piece, which was stored under a dark stairwell, Akiane concentrated on creating new masterpieces, all of which received worldwide acclaim.
Not willing to give up hope, Akiane believed she would see her “Prince of Peace” again; her talents had rescued her family from poverty. In the meantime, she traveled to more than 30 countries, counseling diverse groups of people about art and spreading her message of peace and spirituality. She also preserved the memory of “Prince of Peace” by selling over one hundred thousand prints.
A miracle occurred in 2019.
The anonymous family that purchased “Prince of Peace” for $850,000 is rumored to be “one of the world’s most distinguished and esteemed families.”
The new family considers itself the guardian of the original. They consider it their mission to preserve this masterpiece for future generations so that its story can continue to inspire millions of people.”
After nearly two decades, Akiane meticulously unwrapped her magnificent “Prince of Peace” and, wiping her tears away, she fell to her knees. In a recent interview with CBS, Akiane remarked about her most cherished work, “It was astounding to me. After so many years, to once again be able to see this in the light.
She continued, “I still find it unbelievable. I’m not going lie…Love is extremely potent. It will always arrive on time to those who require it the most.”
At the Belóved Gallery in Marble Falls, Texas, the exhibit “Akiane: The Early Years” features the world-renowned painting “Prince of Peace.”
Even for those who do not share her faith, it is difficult not to admire Akiane Kramarik’s extraordinary talent in creating such realistic works. What is your greatest piece of her work, if you have seen it?