- Associated Press - Monday, May 7, 2012

SAN JOSE, CALIF. (AP) - An autopsy has found that artist Thomas Kinkade’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription tranquilizers.

NBC Bay Area News reported Monday (( http://bit.ly/Jsgrvg)) that the Santa Clara County medical examiner concluded that the self-described “Painter of Light” stopped breathing at his Northern California home on April 6 from a combination of alcohol and Valium.

Before his death, the 54-year-old Kinkade produced sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes that he sold in a nationwide chain of galleries.

In recent years, however, he had run into personal difficulties, including a 2010 bankruptcy filing by one of his companies.

His brother has said Kinkade battled alcoholism and relapsed before his death.

A judge last month issued a restraining order against a former girlfriend that prevents her from talking about the late painter.