Adrian Stokes

(1902—1972) writer and painter

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(b London, 27 Oct. 1902; d London, 15 Dec. 1972).

British writer and painter. An intensely subjective writer with an interest in psychoanalysis, Stokes responded passionately, even ecstatically, to art, believing its task was to show the ‘utmost drama of the soul as laid-out things’. Many admirers regard him as the most eloquent and poetic English art critic since Ruskin, although others find his prose hard going. His best-known books are The Quattro Cento (1932) and The Stones of Rimini (1934); The Critical Writings of Adrian Stokes, edited by Lawrence Gowing, appeared in three volumes in 1978. Stokes began to paint in 1936 and became a student at the Euston Road School in 1937. From 1939 to 1946 he lived near St Ives, Cornwall, with its flourishing group of painters (see St Ives School). He is not to be confused with the landscape painter Adrian Stokes (1854–1935).

Subjects: Art — Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).

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