Named after Clint Eastwood, Edmund Thomas Clint was an Indian child prodigy who was born in the town of Kochi in Kerala. Even though he died at the age of 7, due to a kidney failure, he is known for having drawn over 25,000 paintings during his short life. Normally, it would take years of analytical study and training to draw such paintings.
Mr. Joseph (Edmunds father)learnt wrestling, dabbled in business, and secured a job at the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) while his wife taught in a parallel college before pitching in to support him in business.
Infant Clint was just about five months old when he was first spotted scrawling with stone on the floor of the family’s official quarter at Thevara, as he crawled on all fours. From gravel, he made a switch to chalk and to non-toxic crayons, turning the walls of the apartment and every single object in it into his canvas.
Edmund recieved no formal training. Mr Edmunds friend Mohan(a photographer) spotted Edmunds talent and told his father to let him be.
A frolicking kid amidst peers, Clint exuded a rare seriousness beyond his age while in the company of adults and never once held back his opinion. He was visibly annoyed when persuaded to meet people not known to him, however powerful or known they were. He asked his mother to treasure whatever he drew, recalls Mr. Joseph.
While he was keen to take part in painting contests, he would very often skip prize-distribution, despite winning. Clint studied up to upper KG and loved reading and being read to, Aesopian Fables , Moby Dick, Aithihyamala, Robinson Crusoe and mythological books. They left such a profound impression on his young mind that he imaginatively recreated the entire Kurukshetra battle in a series of paintings, full with a grand Viswaroopam.
Duels and heroic battles held the young mind’s fancy. So much so, that he drew everything from combats in Mahabharata to the skirmish between David and Goliath.
Four years after Clint died, his works were exhibited at Kanakakkunnu Palace in Thiruvananthapuram when some Theyyam artistes happened to see his painting of a Theyyam performance. Everyone was unsure of the which theyyam it was.Many artistes were consulted.They, in turn, politely inquired if it was possible to meet the painter. On learning the truth about the artist, they said it was of Muchilottu Bhagvathy. The make-up and gears of Muchilottu Bhagvathy are left a tad incomplete, as its traditionally believed that portraying her with perfection would spell death for the artist.
A Brief Hour of Beauty is a moving account of Clints life, the world he lived in and how he celebrated them both through his art.
Clint Road in Kochi, Kerala is named after him. A biography, Clint – Nirangalude Rajakumaran (Clint – The Prince of Colors) was written about him.
The 2007 malayalam film Anandabhairavi, about a child prodigy was inspired by Clint’s life.Edmund Thomas Clint memorial painting competition for children was held at Kochi in his memory