Archibald Standish Hartrick was an illustrator, lithographer and painter of figurative and landscape subjects. His father, Captain William Hartrick, a cousin of the novelist Charles Lever, was a member of the 7th Royal Fusiliers in India. His mother was related to Mary Stewart of Invernahyle in Appin who was the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's character Rose Brandwardine in Waverley.
Hartrick was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh, and then at Edinburgh University. He studied under Alphonse Legros at the Slade School of Art from 1884 to 1885, and also in Paris from 1886 to 1887 with Georges Boulanger and Fernand Cormon. Whilst in France he visited Pont Aven and met Paul Gauguin.
Hartrick joined the staff of The Graphic in 1890. He also contributed to the Daily Graphic, The Pall Mall Budget, Daily Chronicle, The Quiver, The New Budget, Black & White, The Butterfly, Cassell's Family Magazine, Fun, The Yellow Book, The Ludgate Monthly, The Strand Magazine, Pearson's Magazine and The Pall Mall Magazine.
Hartrick was a very prolific illustrator. He illustrated the works of Rudyard Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson. He was also a lithographer and painter, exhibiting at Birmingham, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Liverpool Art Exhibition, Manchester Art Exhibition, Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Hibernian Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy. He became a member of the New English Art Club in 1893, an associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1910 and a full member in 1920. He was elected to the committee of the Society of Illustrators and later became its chairman. This Society invited Whistler to become its Vice-President in 1894.
Hartrick first met Whistler in London at the home of the Pennells. He described Whistler as having 'the quickest brain of anyone I have ever known and he used it like an artist to be perfectly charming or perfectly impossible.'
Hartrick saw Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408) before Whistler scraped out the head rendering the portrait useless to Sir William Eden. Hartrick described it as 'a little masterpiece'. He disapproved of Whistler's quarrels, particularly 'his habit of demanding that all his enemies or adversaries should become automatically those of his friends and followers.'
Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Hartrick, Archibald, A Painter's Pilgrimage Through Fifty Years, Cambridge, 1939; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; Houfe, Simon, The Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Book Illustrators and Caricaturists, Woodbridge, 1996.