Alan Francis Clutton-Brock, was born in Weybridge, Surrey on 8 October 1904, son of art critic Arthur Clutton-Brock (1868-1924) and his wife Evelyn Alice née Vernon-Harcourt (1876-1964). Alan was educated at Eton College and Cambridge University, studied at Westminster School of Art and, taking up journalism, became art critic to ‘The Times’ from 1945-1955. He married Shelagh, née Archer, with whom he had a daughter Juliet [Jewell] (1933-2015) and a son Francis. Shelagh died in a road accident in 1936 and Clutton-Brock remarried Barbara Foy Mitchell (26 September 1912-2005) with whom he had a daughter, Eleanor.
Greatly influenced by Roger Fry (1866-1934), who was a family friend, Clutton-Brock exhibited at the Royal Academy and published several popular art books including ‘Italian Painting’ (1930), ‘Introduction to French Painting’ (1932), ‘William Blake’ (1933) and jointly with Adrian Stokes (1902-1972), ‘Cézanne’ (2 vols.) for the Faber Library, in 1947-55. Murder at Liberty Hall (1941) was Clutton-Brock’s only detective novel.
A National Gallery trustee and Slade professor of fine art at Cambridge 1955-1958, he inherited Chastleton House at Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Oxfordshire from a distant cousin in 1955. After the death of his wife Barbara in 2005, Chastleton was acquired by the National Trust.
In his 1976 obituary, The Times lauded Clutton-Brock as a ‘man of high intelligence and charm’ whose ‘wit, wide reading and store of historical knowledge were instinct in all that he wrote’.