Arthur Bartholomew was an English-born Australian engraver, lithographer and natural history illustrator. He was the son of Thomas Bartholomew, a builder, and Charlotte Wright.
Bartholomew was apprenticed to an engraver in Exeter and acquired some lithographic training. He sailed for Australia aboard the Oriental in 1852, arriving in Melbourne in December 1852. Here he spent some time exploring the outback before sailing to Tasmania, where he was to meet his future wife, Eliza Ann Nicholls.
Returning to Melbourne, he became assistant to William Blandowski, producing illustrations for an encyclopedia on the natural history of Australia. Blandowski became involved in a dispute with fellow members of the Philosophical Institute when he named two new fish species after two of the members. This in itself was not unusual, but when he used phrases such as 'slimy', 'slippery', 'low forehead' and 'big belly' in his descriptions, turmoil ensued. Bartholomew made use of the hiatus to travel to Longford in Tasmania, where he married Eliza in 1856.