Posted: Apr 13, 2012 10:27 AM
Updated: Apr 13, 2012 10:27 AM
MONTE SERENO, CA - A family member says painter Thomas Kinkade battled alcoholism over the past several years and had a relapse just before his death at his home in Santa Clara County.
Kinkade's brother, Patrick, said decades of attacks on Kinkade's work and a split with his wife two years ago had taken a toll on the famous "Painter of Light."
Kinkade died in Monte Sereno on April 6 at age 54 of what a spokesman has said was natural causes. An autopsy is pending.
A recording of a dispatcher involved in the response to his home says Kinkade had been drinking all night and was not moving.
Kinkade's scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes led to a commercial empire that was said to fetch some $100 million a year in sales.