Reflections: The light and life of John Henry Lorimer


  • first book to examine and assess the life and art of the Scottish artist John Henry Lorimer (1856-1936)
  • explores his life, art, and the twin importance of family and place through series of thematic texts and a visual essay
  • tells the stories of the people in his paintings, especially women
  • evaluates contemporary appreciation of the artist, particularly in France

270 x 210mm / softback

Out of stock


Reflections: The light and life of John Henry Lorimer is the first publication to document the life and work of the Scottish painter.  The book explores his paintings through key themes: light, identity, family, femininity, home and place. From his turret studio in Kellie Castle, the Fife property leased and restored by his family in 1878, Lorimer presented scenes that tenderly capture social and emotional situations: the joy of motherhood, the grief of a bride trapped by an arranged marriage, the fear of a young girl reading a letter sent from the frontline, and the tenderness of a family birthday party.

Lorimer’s art was particularly appreciated in Paris, with Grandmother’s Birthday (1893) the first painting by a Scottish artist to be bought by the French Government. His art retains popular appeal with The Flight of the Swallows at the City Art Centre and Spring Moonlight at Kirkcaldy Galleries recently voted their most favourite works of art.

Contributing authors:
Elizabeth Cumming is a former curator of Edinburgh’s City Art Centre and an honorary professor at the University of Edinburgh
Nick Haynes is a historic environment consultant, architectural historian, author and photographer
Martin Kemp is Emeritus Professor in the History of Art, Trinity College, Oxford, and former Professor of the History of Art at St. Andrews
Antonia Laurence Allen is the Regional Curator for Edinburgh and East at the National Trust for Scotland
Charlotte Lorimer is co-curator of the exhibition Reflections: The light and life of John Henry Lorimer
Monica Lorimer was privileged to grow up at Kellie among the works of her creative family
Robin Lorimer, architect, studied at Beaux Arts and Architectural Association, practised in Paris, London and Glasgow and was a lecturer at Mackintosh School of Architecture.
Duncan Macmillan is an emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh, art critic and art historian