Thomas Kinkade, the self-proclaimed “Painter of Light,” passed away April 6th from an accidental overdose of alcohol and anti-anxiety medication, according to an autopsy report made public on Monday.
The official report by the Santa Clara County Coroner’s office calls Kinkade’s death an “acute ethanol and Diazepam intoxication.” The painter’s death was ruled as an “accident.”
Kinkade, whose works captivated millions, passed away in April in Northern California. He was 54. His works have reportedly seen a huge spike in sales since his death, despite the criticism he received from art critucs when he was alive.
Thomas Kinkade’s brother spoke with the San Jose Mercury News are how the painter had suffered from alcoholism for several years before his death, and suffered a relapse in recent months.
The acclaimed painter was also arrested for drunk driving in 2010, which was the same year his company filed for bankruptcy.
The autopsy also revealed that “hypertensive and atherosclerotic heart disease contributed to Kinkade’s death, meaning that he suffered from heart problems caused by stress, as well as a plaque build up in his arteries.
Thomas Kinkade’s girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh, told police that he had been drinking all night, according to 911 dispatch recordings that were posted online. She also told the Mercury News that:
“He died in his sleep, very happy, in the house he built, with the paintings he loved and the woman he loved.”
Since his death, his wife and girlfriend have been locked in a bitter battle, which has resulted in his wife obtaining a restraining order to keep his girlfriend away from Thomas Kinkade’s estate, and to stop her from talking about the painter.