Alfred Clint was the fifth and youngest son of George Clint ARA (1770–1854), painter and engraver, and his first wife. He was born in Alfred Place, Bedford Square, London, on 22 March 1807. A pupil of his father, Clint also studied from life with a society of students meeting first in Drury Lane and later at the Savoy. He was also at one time a member of the Clipstone Street Artists’ Society, a sketching club. Ottley states that Clint initially painted portraits, as did his father, but that an unstated health problem compelled him to take up landscape painting, in which he was self-taught.
Clint exhibited for the first time in 1828 at both the Society of British Artists’ galleries in Suffolk Street, London, and the British Institution. In the following year his Study from Nature was accepted for exhibition at the Royal Academy. By the close of his career he had exhibited in excess of 400 landscapes and coastal views at these three institutions and others, by far the majority having been shown at Suffolk Street. Clint proved a capable administrator: he was elected a member of the Society of British Artists in 1843 and for some years held the office of secretary. He succeeded Frederick Yeates Hurlstone as president in 1869 and on retiring in 1881 was made honorary president. With others, he instigated both the Artists’ Amicable Fund and the short-lived Institute of Fine Arts.
Clint is now best-known as a marine painter, especially of views taken on the south coast of England and the Channel Islands. He also painted views of the British countryside, accompanying the actor George John Bennett on the second of his Welsh journeys, and contributed twenty etchings to Bennett’s The Pedestrian’s Guide through North Wales, published in 1838. Paintings bearing Welsh titles were exhibited at Suffolk Street and the Royal Academy in 1839 and 1840. His Hampstead from the South-East (c.1852–3) is in the Tate collection, and Morning: London from Highgate of 1841 is in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. These two London scenes are quiet and contemplative in mood, but frequently the groups of figures included by Clint animate the landscapes, while shipping and rough seas enliven the coastal views.
In 1855 Clint wrote Landscape from Nature, being the second part of John Samuelson Templeton’s The Guide to Oil Painting in a series published by George Rowney & Co., suppliers of artists’ materials.
For the last five years of his life Clint was forced to give up painting owing to failing eyesight. He died at his home, 54 Lancaster Road, Westbourne Park, London, on 22 March 1883, his seventy-sixth birthday. He was buried in the same grave as his father in Kensal Green cemetery and his remaining works were sold by Christies in February 1884.