In 1886, while studying in Paris, the Scottish painter Archibald Standish Hartrick (1864-1950) became acquainted with a number of the key figures of Modern Art. These included Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Joseph Crawhall of the Glasgow Boys group.
He later published a lively account of his meetings in a memoir titled A Painter’s Pilgrimage through Fifty Years. In this, Hartrick wrote that Crawhall was a genius in the sense that he did everything in his own way, and that no one else could follow, I first met him in Paris, where he was living at the same hotel as myself. He never went to work in any atelier there that I can remember, though he had entered one under Aimé Moror, the painter of horses and battle pictures; but wondered about Les Halles, the great market there, where he found subjects that suited him. I think he only completed one drawing in Paris, that of a bell, but he was always tearing up what he had done if it did not achieve what he was after. It is a curious fact, I remember, that his favourite work in the Louvre was Courbet’s Man with a Leathern Belt’.
Hartrick states that Crawhall looked and rode like a Jockey’, and recorded him as such in this portrait drawing which he later reproduced in his memoir.