An assistant of David Hockney has died after becoming unwell at the gay artist’s home in East Yorkshire.

Dominic Elliott, 23, was pronounced dead at Scarborough General Hospital at about 6.00am yesterday after being driven there from the house in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

Initial police reports suggest that Elliott had taken “something that led to his death,” although violence has been ruled out. A post mortem examination will take place on Tuesday.

A police spokeswoman said: “The circumstances of the man’s death are not clear and officers are currently undertaking inquiries to establish events leading to his death.”

Elliott was recruited by Hockney to help with a series of works based around the seaside town of Bridlington.

Hockney previously painted a portrait of Elliot in 2008.

The artist was the subject of a major exhibition at the Royal Academy in London last year, titled A Bigger Picture, which attracted more than 600,000 people.

He was photographed out with his partner John Fitzherbert by Out magazine, two months ago.

Hockney came 14th in TimeOut’s 2011 Power List.