LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 22: Painter Thomas Kinkade poses at the "We Are Family" recording session at the Chalice Recording Studios on November 22, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
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 Monte Sereno.
Kinkade's brother, Patrick, told The San Jose Mercury News 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 at home 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.