Thomas Kinkade with his paintings
Michael A. Jones/Sacramento Bee/ZUMA
05/08/2012 at 07:00 AM EDT
An autopsy performed
on popular artist Thomas Kinkade blames his April 6 death
on an accidental overdose of "acute ethanol and Diazepam intoxication" – alcohol and prescription tranquilizers, reports NBC Bay Area News
"Mr. Kinkade died of respiratory depression as a result of a high concentration of ethanol combined with benzodiazepine use," California's Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's report stated.
The self-described "painter of light," 54, died at his home in Monte Sereno, Calif. His family initially said his death was from natural causes.
In an interview last month, the artist's brother, Patrick Kinkade, said Thomas had battled alcoholism
for as long as five years.
Also beset with financial reverses
, Kinkade had separated from his wife, Nanette, and their four daughters in 2010.
Still, Nanette Kinkade said upon her husband's death, "Thom provided a wonderful life for his family. We are shocked and saddened by his death."