Masterful painting of Jesus by 8-year-old rescued from the shadows

Akiane Kramarik’s masterpiece “Prince of Peace,” the ethereal image she painted of Jesus at only 8, was resurrected from obscurity 16 years after it was stolen, mistakenly sold and locked up in darkness.

Now a 28-year-old best-selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Akiane–the curator of spiritual images highlighted by her seemingly 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.”

When she was nine, she appeared on the Oprah Show and shared her art, all that dwarfed her tiny frame, and among them an inspired portrait of Jesus, “Prince of Peace,” created by her uniquely deliberate strokes. 

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“You’re obviously gifted. Where does this come from?” Oprah asked Akiane. 

“It comes from God,” the young prodigy replied confidently. 

In an interview with a 10-year-old Akiane, she was asked how she knows that it’s God speaking to her. She replied, “Because I can hear His voice. His voice is quiet and beautiful.”  

Curiously, Akiane’s family is not religious, and the concept of God was never discussed in the small town Idaho home, where she grew up.

“It wasn’t just art that was happening. Simultaneous with art was a spiritual awakening,” said Akiane’s mother, Forelli Kramarik, who grew up in an atheistic family from Lithuania. “It all began to happen when she started to share her dreams and visions. And my husband was a former Catholic and did not share in the family beliefs. We didn’t pray together, there was no discussion about God, and we didn’t go to church. Then all of a sudden, Akiane was starting to talk about God.”

Akiane, who was home schooled, had no babysitters or a television, was not influenced by anyone outside the home, her mom said. “We were with the kids all the time, and so these words from Akiane about God didn’t come from the outside–we knew that. But there suddenly were intense conversations about God’s love, His place [in our lives], and she would describe everything in detail.”

Akiane explained the portrait was inspired by a vision that she had since she was a preschooler. She said that she would illustrate her visions through poetry and other writings but then it was too “complex to describe through words so I painted.”

She said, “I always think about Jesus and talk about Him.  I was looking for a [Jesus] model for a long, long time, and when I couldn’t find anyone, one day I suggested to my family to pray all day for this model so God would send the right one.”

The family prayed and a very tall carpenter–like Jesus, who was also a carpenter–appeared at the family’s door, looking for work. Akiane recalled that she nearly fainted when she saw him. “I told my mother that that was him. I want him to be my model,” she recalls.

Spawned from the image in her dreams, and using the carpenter as a model, Akiane painted the “Prince of Peace,” a now priceless painting that’s recognized internationally.

Demonstrating vivid and detailed techniques, unusual skills from such a young artist, “Prince of Peace” was sent to an exhibition, but stolen along the way. A few years later, it was finally returned to Akiane, though during shipping, it came back covered in sawdust, which she carefully removed.

The family’s efforts to share Akiane’s spiritually-inspired portrait with the world again ran into difficulties when a clerical error put the painting up for sale instead of exhibition.

“Prince of Peace” was sold to a private collector, and after losing a lengthy court battle to reclaim the piece, which was stored under a dark stairwell, Akiane focused on creating new masterpieces, all receiving global praise.  

Not willing to give up hope, Akiane–her talents pulled her family from poverty–believed she would again see her “Prince of Peace” and in the meantime, she travelled to more than 30 countries, counseling diverse groups of people about art, sharing her message of peace, and spirituality, along the way. She also kept the memory of “Prince of Peace” alive by selling more than 100,000 prints.

In 2019, a miracle happened.

“Prince of Peace” was put up for sale and purchased for $850,000 by an anonymous family, that’s rumored to be “one of the world’s most distinguished and esteemed families.” 

The new family “views itself as the stewards for the original. They feel it is their mission to protect this masterpiece for generations to come, so it can touch millions of more lives with its story.”

After almost two decades, Akiane carefully unwrapped her magnificent “Prince of Peace,” and wiping the tears from her cheeks, she dropped to her knees. Looking at her most treasured work, Akiane recently said in an interview with CBS, “It was amazing to me. To be able to see this into the light again, after so many years.”

She continued, “It’s still surreal to me. I’m not gonna lie…Love is so powerful. It will always show up on time to people who need it most.”

“Akiane: The Early Years,” featuring the world-famous painting, “Prince of Peace” is on exhibit at the Belóved Gallery in Marble Falls, TX.

Akiane Kramarik has an extraordinary gift and even for those who do not share in her faith, it’s hard not to appreciate her talent in creating such realistic pieces. If you’ve seen her work, what is your favorite piece?