- Geoffrey Ashton
(b Holborn, London, April 12, 1770; d Kensington, London, May 10, 1854).
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 (exh. RA 1817; Sudeley Castle, Glos), 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’ (exh. RA 1820...