Adrian Stokes (1902–1972)

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Adrian Durham Stokes was a writer, painter and poet, known principally as an influential art critic. In 1921, Stokes visited Italy for the first time, a trip that was to be a formative experience for him. Over the next decade, he returned to the country many times, exploring and writing about Quattrocento Italian art. He published his first book, 'The Thread of Ariadne', in 1925, and went on to produce over 20 critical books and numerous papers. A letter to the 'Times Literary Supplement' in 1965, signed by 18 prominent thinkers and artists, including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Richard Wollheim, claimed Adrian Stokes as one of 'the most original and creative writers on art'.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Adrian Stokes (1902–1972)






H 31.7 x W (?) x D (?) cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1985

Work type



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