(12 April 1770 - 10 May 1854)
Clint was born in Brownlow Street, Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London, the son of Michael Clint, a hairdresser in Lombard Street. He went to school in Yorkshire and was then apprenticed to a fishmonger, but left after a violent dispute with his employer. He found alternative employment in an attorney's office, but took exception to the work and became a house-painter instead; one of his jobs was painting the stones of the arches in the nave of Westminster Abbey. He also decorated the exterior of a house built by Sir Christopher Wren in Cheapside, and was later employed by the bookseller Thomas Tegg.
He married the daughter of a small farmer in Berkshire; they had five sons and four daughters. His wife died a fortnight after giving birth to their son Alfred, who also became an artist.
Clint took up Portrait miniature painting. He had a studio in Leadenhall Street, and he became acquainted with the publisher John Bell, whose nephew, the mezzotint engraver Edward Bell, taught Clint the art of engraving. His first in oil painting was a portrait of his wife. At this period Samuel Reynolds, the engraver, advised him to undertake watercolour portraits. Commissions proving scarce, he made copies, in colour, from prints after George Morland and Teniers; he reproduced Morland's "The Enraged Bull" and "The Horse struck by Lightning" several times.
Around 1816, his studio at 83 Gower Street, was a meeting place of the leading actors and actresses of the day. This popularity arose from a series of dramatic scenes which he painted, such as "William Farren, Farley, and Jones as Lord Ogleby, Canton, and Brush" in the comedy The Clandestine Marriage.
Clint was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1821, a position he resigned in 1836, after repeated disappointments in not being made a full academician. He subsequently took a house in Peckham, but moved to Pembroke Square, where he died on 10 May 1864.
His early engravings include "The Frightened Horse", after George Stubbs; "The Entombment", after Dietrich; "The Death of Nelson", after Samuel Drummond, and a set of the Raphael cartoons in outline. He painted portraits of Lord Suffield and his family, Lord Egremont, Lord Essex, Lord Spencer, General Wyndham, and many others. He executed several theatrical portraits for a Mrs. Griffiths of Norwood, some of which were destroyed by fire. His "Falstaff and Mistress Ford" is in the Tate Gallery.
His mezzotints included "The Trial of Queen Caroline", after George Henry Harlow; a portrait of the William Pitt, after John Hoppner; a portrait of Margaret, Lady Dundas, after Thomas Lawrence; a portrait of Miss Siddons, again after Lawrence, and a print after a self-portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds. There are also portraits of the engraver George Cook; the publisher John Bell; the actors Edmund Kean, Charles Young (as Hamlet), William Dowton and John Liston (the latter as Paul Pry) and the actresses Lucia Elizabeth Vestris and Julia Glover.
One of Clint's sons, Scipio Clint, was a notable medallist and seal engraver. Of his other sons Raphael Clint (1797-1849) was an engraver and Alfred Clint (1807-1833) a marine painter.
Bryan's Dictionary of painters and engravers, Vol 1, 1903; en.Wikimedia; ArtCyclopedia; Artnet; National Portrait Gallery, London.
GEORGE CLINT (1770–1854)
Portrait painter and engraver, born in Brownlow Street, Drury Lane, on 12 April 1770, was the son of Michael Clint, a hairdresser in Lombard Street. The youth, after receiving a plain education at a Yorkshire school, was apprenticed to a fishmonger, but on account of a quarrel with his master, who struck him, he sought protection of the lord mayor, and then found some employment in an attorney's office. His conscience, however, revolting against this work, he took to house-painting, and actually painted the stones of the arches in the nave of Westminster Abbey. He decorated the exterior of a house built by Sir Christopher Wren in Cheapside, and was afterwards employed by Tegg, the bookseller. He married the daughter of a small farmer in Berkshire; by her he had five sons and four daughters. Mrs. Clint died a fortnight after giving birth to her son Alfred, the artist.
Clint now took to miniature-painting. His studio was in Leadenhall Street, and he became acquainted with John Bell, the publisher [q. v.], whose nephew, Edward Bell, the mezzotint engraver, initiated Clint into the mysteries of the art of engraving. His first attempt in oil colours was his wife's portrait. Having heard of Sir William Beechey's liberality towards his professional brethren, he longed to have that artist's opinion respecting his own work, upon which Mrs. Clint undertook to show her portrait to Sir William, who received her most kindly.
At this period Samuel Reynolds, the engraver, advised Clint to undertake water-colour portraits. Commissions now being scarce, he made copies, in colours, from prints after Morland and Teniers; he reproduced several times Morland's ′The Enraged Bull' and 'The Horse struck by Lightning.' About 1816, his studio, 83 Gower Street, was the rendezvous of the leading actors and actresses of the day. This popularity arose from a series of dramatic scenes which he painted, such as ′W. Farren, Farley, and Jones as Lord Ogleby, Canton, and Brush′ in the comedy of the ′Clandestine Marriage.′
Clint was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1821. This position he resigned in 1836, after repeated disappointments in not obtaining the full honours of the Academy, and took a house at Peckham, but removed to Pembroke Square, where he died on 10 May 1854. Among his early copper-plates are ′The Frightened Horse,′ after G. Stubbs; ′The Entombment,′ after Dietrich; ′The Death of Nelson,′ after W. Drummond, and a set of the Raphael cartoons -- in outline. The following portraits are by Clint: Lord Suffield and his family, Lord Egremont, Lord Essex, Lord Spencer, General Wyndham, and many others. For Mrs. Griffiths of Norwood he executed several theatrical portraits, some of which were destroyed by fire. There is in the National Gallery ′Falstaff and Mistress Ford,′ formerly in the Vernon collection. Of his best mezzotint engravings may be mentioned ′The Trial of Queen Caroline,′ after G. H. Harlow; portrait of the Right Hon. W. Pitt, after J. Hoppner; portrait of Margaret, lady Dundas, after Sir T. Lawrence; portrait of Miss Siddons, after Sir T. Lawrence; portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds, after himself. In 1868, at the South Kensington Museum, were exhibited six portraits by Clint, viz.: George Cook, engraver; John Bell, publisher; Edmund Kean, actor; Liston as Paul Pry; Madame Vestris, Miss Glover, and Mr. Williams; Charles Young as Hamlet; and William Dowton, the comedian.
[Art Journal, 1854; Dictionary of English Artists, 1878; Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Recent and Living Painters, 8vo, 1866; Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 11, by Louis Alexander.]
View artist's work: George Clint (1770-1854)