6 November 2021 to 20 March 2022

'The Flight of the Swallows', oil on canvas, 1906 by John Henry Lorimer (1856-1936).  City Art Centre, Museums and Galleries Edinburgh.

The Flight of the Swallows, oil on canvas, 1906 by John Henry Lorimer (1856-1936).

City Art Centre, Museums and Galleries Edinburgh.

Reflections: The Light and Life of John Henry Lorimer, set to run from 6th November 2021 to 20th March 2022, will be the first exhibition dedicated to Scottish artist John Henry Lorimer (1856-1936). The exhibition will see almost fifty oil paintings, watercolours, sketches and objects come together at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh and will explore Lorimer’s art through five themes: Light, Identity, Family, Femininity and Home.

Over the years, the Scottish public has shown a lot of support for Lorimer, voting Spring Moonlight at the Kirkcaldy Galleries and The Flight of the Swallows at the City Art Centre as their favourite paintings in the galleries’ permanent collections. Both paintings will be included in the exhibition, along with many from private collections, some of which have not been on public display for several decades.


Further highlights include the Tate Galleries’ portrait of the artist’s younger brother Sir Robert Lorimer, A.R.A., as a Boy and the Musée d’Orsay’s painting Grandmother’s Birthday, also known as Bénédicité. Grandmother’s Birthday was the first painting by a Scottish artist to be bought by the French Government. It will be displayed with one of the chairs that features in the painting, designed by architect and furniture designer Sir Robert Lorimer.


Co-curator Charlotte Lorimer says: “While artists such as Claude Monet and Edgar Degas pushed the boundaries of painting and were rejected by traditional galleries and the Paris Salon, Lorimer developed a more classical style and won medals from the Salon and praise from critics. History tends to remember the rebels. But there’s also a place for the quiet craftsmanship of artists such as Lorimer.”


Co-curator David Patterson adds: “Here at the City Art Centre, we are really excited to be hosting the first ever major exhibition devoted to the work of John Henry Lorimer. His work, which is so often overlooked in favour of his more radical contemporaries, is technically brilliant and his elegant interiors and light-filled landscapes will uplift everyone’s spirits during the winter months.” 


If you would like to support our efforts by making a donation by bank transfer or cheque, please email and we can send you the details. We look forward to welcoming you to The City Art Centre.




Pencil sketch of 1878 by John Henry Lorimer of 'Robbie [Sir Robert Lorimer] reading Guy Mannering to the Prof'. Private Collection

Robbie Reading Guy Mannering to The Prof., pencil on paper, 1878 by John Henry Lorimer (1856-1936). Private collection.