A Liverpool artist, Hunt was the only surviving son of landscape painter Andrew Hunt (1790-1861). He was educated at Liverpool Collegiate School and Corpus Christi, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate prize and was elected a fellow in 1853.
Hunt decided to become an artist and returned to Liverpool where he studied at Liverpool Academy Life Class. He first exhibited at the Liverpool Academy in 1847 and was elected Associate in 1854, Member in 1856 and a non-resident member in 1865. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy, London from 1856.