U.S. artist Thomas Kinkade suffered a relapse in his battle with alcoholism just before his death last week (06Apr12), according to his brother.
Patrick Kinkade tells the San Jose Mercury News that constant critical attacks from the art world and a split from his wife took its toll on his sibling - and he became an alcoholic in the last five year of his life.
The painter managed to battle back from his illness and he became prolific in the last year of his life, but the 54 year old couldn't escape the booze completely.
Thomas was pronounced dead at his home in California last Friday morning after his live-in girlfriend called emergency services to report she'd found her lover "unconscious and not breathing".
Reports suggest the artist had been drinking heavily the night before.
Patrick told the publication that the criticism his brother received from art world snobs was too much for him to handle: "As much as he said it didn't bother him, in his heart deep down inside it would sadden him that people would criticize so hatefully his work and his vision when people didn't understand him."
Thomas' autopsy results are still pending.