LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “Painter of Light” Thomas Kinkade died of accidental acute intoxication from alcohol and an anti-anxiety medication, according to autopsy report made public on Monday by local NBC Bay Area TV.
The Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office reported Kinkade’s cause of death as “acute ethanol and Diazepam intoxication” and manner of death as “accident,” according to the NBC station. Diazepam is the active ingredient in Valium.
A Santa Clara County Coroner’s investigator confirmed to Reuters that the autopsy report on Kinkade had been completed but said he could not release it after business hours.
Kinkade, the self-proclaimed “Painter of Light,” whose works captivated millions of Americans despite the scorn of many art critics, died in April at his home in Northern California at the age of 54.
His brother told the San Jose Mercury News newspaper that the painter had battled alcoholism for several years and suffered a relapse before he died.
Patrick Kinkade said his brother had been burdened in recent years by a separation from his wife, financial troubles and the low opinion of his work by critics.
Thomas Kinkade was arrested for drunk driving in 2010, the same year his company filed for bankruptcy. Art galleries reported a surge in sales of Kinkade’s paintings following his death.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Jackie Frank