The celebrated artwork “Prince of Peace,” a divine portrayal of Jesus, has made a remarkable comeback after 16 years. Created by Akiane Kramarik when she was just 8, the masterpiece was unfortunately stolen, inadvertently sold, and left forgotten in obscurity for many years.
Akiane, now 28, is a renowned author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Known for her spiritually infused art, she says that a repeated “visionary inspiration” drove her to paint “Prince of Peace,” an image that presents a deeply moving role model for mankind. When she was merely 9, Akiane appeared on the Oprah Show and showcased her art, including the much-admired “Prince of Peace,” demonstrating her distinctive artistic approach, even at such a young age.
When questioned about the origin of her exceptional talent by Oprah, young Akiane Kramarik asserted, “It comes from God.” This assertion was confidently delivered by the budding artist, whose works already demonstrated profound depth and sophistication.
In a subsequent interview when she was 10, Akiane was asked how she could be sure that it was indeed God speaking to her. She responded, saying, “Because I can hear His voice. His voice is quiet and beautiful.” This was particularly intriguing given that Akiane grew up in a non-religious family in a small Idaho town, where discussions about God were noticeably absent.
Akiane’s mother, Forelli Kramarik, described her daughter’s artistic journey as more than just a progression in art; it was a simultaneous spiritual awakening. Forelli, who comes from an atheistic Lithuanian family, revealed how these spiritual developments started emerging when Akiane began sharing her dreams and visions. Although her husband was a former Catholic, the family did not engage in religious practices or discussions about God, nor did they attend church services. Yet, out of the blue, Akiane began conversing about God.
According to her mother, Akiane, who was homeschooled and devoid of external influences such as babysitters or television, began discussing divine topics entirely on her own. As a family that spent all their time together, it was clear that Akiane’s newfound insights about God’s love and his place in their lives were not originating from the outside world. The young artist started having intense discussions about spirituality, describing everything with remarkable detail.
Akiane shared that the inspiration for the portrait came from visions she had experienced since her preschool years. Initially, she tried to express these visions through poetry and writing, but eventually found them too intricate to be captured by words alone. Hence, she turned to painting as a medium of expression. “I always think about Jesus and talk about Him,” she said, revealing her struggle to find a model for her depiction of Jesus.
Eventually, Akiane suggested her family pray for a day, asking God to send the right model for her painting. Miraculously, following their prayers, a tall carpenter, reminiscent of Jesus who was also known as a carpenter, turned up at their doorstep seeking work. Akiane was taken aback by his appearance, and immediately knew he was the one. She excitedly told her mother, “That’s him. I want him to be my model.”
Inspired by her dreams and using the carpenter as a model, Akiane created “Prince of Peace,” a painting now considered priceless and recognized across the globe. The painting exhibited an extraordinary level of vivid detail and advanced technique, quite remarkable for such a young artist.
However, when the “Prince of Peace” was sent for exhibition, it was unfortunately stolen. It was returned to Akiane after a few years, but not in pristine condition – it arrived covered in sawdust, which she painstakingly removed. The family faced further challenges in their attempt to share Akiane’s spiritually inspired work with the world. Due to a clerical mistake, the painting was mistakenly listed for sale rather than for exhibition.
The “Prince of Peace” ended up in the possession of a private collector following its unintentional sale. After losing a protracted legal battle to retrieve the piece, which was kept under a dark stairwell, Akiane shifted her attention to producing new masterpieces, each gaining international acclaim.
Nevertheless, Akiane, whose artistic abilities helped lift her family out of poverty, never lost hope of seeing her “Prince of Peace” again. Meanwhile, she traveled to over 30 countries, advising diverse groups on art, spreading her message of peace, and sharing her spirituality. To keep the memory of “Prince of Peace” alive, she sold over 100,000 prints of the piece.
Then, in 2019, a remarkable event occurred. The “Prince of Peace” was once again put up for sale and was bought by an anonymous family for $850,000. This family is rumored to be among the world’s most distinguished and respected.
The new owners view themselves as guardians of the original “Prince of Peace.” They believe their mission is to preserve this masterpiece for future generations, enabling it to continue touching countless lives with its powerful story.
Nearly two decades later, Akiane got the chance to unwrap her precious “Prince of Peace” once again. Overwhelmed with emotion, she fell to her knees, tears streaming down her face. In a recent interview with CBS, she reflected on this profound moment, saying, “It was amazing to me. To be able to see this into the light again, after so many years.”
She added, “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,” an exhibit showcasing the globally acclaimed painting “Prince of Peace,” is now on display at the Belóved Gallery in Marble Falls, Texas. Akiane Kramarik’s unique talent for creating astoundingly realistic artworks is unquestionable. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, it’s difficult not to admire the depth of her skill.