Thomas Kinkade's brother has reported that the artist battled with alcoholism for the past four or five years and relapsed just before his death.

Kinkade's brother, Patrick, told The Contra Costa Times that decades of personal attacks for his work and a split from his wife and four daughters took a toll on the famous Painter of Light.

Kinkade died in his Monte Sereno, Calif., home April 6 at age 54 of what a spokesman has said was natural causes. Autopsy results are pending.

Patrick told The Contra Costa Times that his brother was a brilliant and prolific artist and intellectual, but one who fought with inner demons.

He would shoulder the world, pull the naysayers on his back and smile when he was doing it, Patrick said. 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.

Kinkade is known for his scenes of country cottages and gardens that were said to earn $100 million a year in sales.