CLINT, George
(b. 1770, London, d. 1854, London)

Biography

English engraver and painter. He worked as an apprentice fishmonger, a lawyer's clerk, a house painter and a bookseller, before he began painting miniatures and watercolour copies of popular engravings. He also had a talent for mezzotint engraving, and this career came to a well-publicized climax in 1819 with the appearance of the large mezzotint after George Henry Harlow's The Court for the Trial of Queen Katharine, owned by Thomas Welsh. Because of its large size and the serious nature of the subject, Harlow had intended this work to be seen as a history painting, but some observers felt that it was merely theatrical. Nevertheless, Harlow's attempt to create a history painting out of a theatrical scene haunted Clint during his subsequent artistic career and inspired his most important painting The Last Scene in 'A New Way to Pay Old Debts'. This work not only follows Harlow's picture closely in size and composition but also uses the same conceit of showing a theatrical scene in historical disguise while including a gallery of contemporary portraits.

Clint was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1821; however, his lack of true historical style possibly prevented him from becoming an Academician, and he resigned from the Royal Academy in 1835 after a series of scenes from Shakespeare failed to earn him the expected recognition.