Adolphus Knell exclusively painted marine subjects and flourished during the latter part of the 19th Century. His work has become widely collected in recent years and may be due to the fact that he was quite prolific and that the quality of his work remained high.
It is accepted that he was the brother of William Callcott Knell and the son of William Adolphus Knell, both of whom were highly regarded marine painters. He lived in Bristol and was originally a furniture decorator in Bath.
Knell's work seems generally to be on the small scale although the occasional larger paintings have been seen. He tended to favour dawn and moonlight estuary scenes for the larger part of his output and rarely put the time into such detailed works such as these.