It is not known when Alfred Augustus Glendening was born, but it is thought to be around 1840, in Greenwich.
He became a railway clerk as a young man, but soon turned to painting, and became one of the most popular landscape artists of his period.
Glendening painted in many parts of England, Scotland and Wales, notably in Surrey and Sussex, and in the Scottish Highlands, where he painted many loch scenes with cattle. From 1864 to 1892 he exhibited works at the Royal Society of British Artists, and from 1865 to 1903 he exhibited forty seven paintings at the Royal Academy. His work was also shown at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, at the Manchester City Art Gallery.
His son Alfred Glendening Junior, 1861-1907, painted in a style which was greatly influenced by his father.