Clint, George (DNB00)

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CLINT, GEORGE (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, &c. In 1868, at the South Kensington Museum, were exhibited six portraits, &c, 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, p. 212; A Dictionary of English Artists, 1878; A Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Recent and Living Painters, &c., 1866, 8vo.]

L. F.