The painter Adrian Stokes was born in Southport, and worked at a cotton broker in Liverpool until his artistic talents were noticed by John Herbert RA, who advised him to submit his drawings to the Royal Academy. He was subsequently able to enter the RA Schools in 1872. He exhibited at the Academy from 1876, and in that year went to France, settling back in England in 1886, at the artists' colony at St Ives. During his time in France, he married Marianne Preindlesberger, who became a well known artist under her married name Marianne Stokes.
Adrian Stokes was a landscape painter, concerned most with atmospheric effects, and later with decorative landscapes. His St Ives picture Uplands and Sky (1888) was bought under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest, and he had another Chantrey picture, Autumn in the Mountains, in 1903. He became ARA in 1909 and RA in 1919, and vice-president of the RWS in 1933.
Landscapes by Stokes are in various collections, including Leeds, Manchester, Canterbury and Preston. Abroad, In the Dunes is in the National Gallery of Canada.