Thomas Kinkade, the ‘Painter of Light,’ passed away from accidental acute intoxication from alcohol and anti-anxiety medication, according to the autopsy report. The Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office released the cause of death as ‘acute ethanol and Diazepam intoxication’ and described the death as an ‘accident.’ Diazepam is the active ingredient in the drug Valium. An investigator from the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office said that the autopsy was confirmed but it could not be released after business hours.
Kinkade died at home in April at the age of 54. He proclaimed himself as the ‘Painter of Light’ and his paintings were sold to millions of Americans despite much criticism from art critics. Kinkade’s brother told multiple media outlets that his brother battling alcoholism for quite a few years and did suffer a relapse prior to his death. Kinkade’s brother, Patrick, said the artist was depressed recently because of being separated from his wife, because of financial troubles and because of negative critiques of his work.
In 2010, Kinkade was arrested for drunk driving, which is when his company had to file for bankruptcy. Following Kinkade’s death, art galleries across the country reported a large surge in his paintings’ sales. A spokesperson for the Kinkade family, Marcia Horowitz, said the following:
“At the end of Thom’s life, his struggle with alcohol caused him to become a different person. Those who really knew and loved Thom can see beyond these days and remember the amazing man who brought so much joy and peace to so many.”