The People’s Pick and John Henry Lorimer

Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery has a very good collection of paintings, many of them donated by Michael Portillo’s grandfather on his mother’s side, John W Blyth (his father was a Republican refugee from the Spanish Civil War.)

The Gallery’s pictures include quite a few by the Scottish Colourists particularly S J Peploe but also J D Fergusson, the wonderfully named Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell and Leslie Hunter. These counterpart earlier paintings by William MacTaggart and later ones including some by the mysteriously popular Jack Vettriano (sub-Hopper cartoonish efforts though they may be.)

My favourite however has always been Spring Moonlight by John Henry Lorimer, painted in 1896.

Spring Moonlight

The above is not a very good reproduction; it doesn’t reflect the quality of his depiction of light. Lorimer’s faces aren’t the best but he captures the swirl of the woman’s gown very well and in the flesh so to speak you could swear that the canvas contains two yellow sources of illumination emanating from the table lamps. It is a startling effect and the artist’s style is distinctive – even if it doesn’t come through so strongly in his portraits. On visiting Kellie Castle last summer I immediately recognised the painting below as being by the same hand.

Sunlight in the South Room

Both pictures from BBC Your Paintings

The Museum and Art Gallery reopened in June after refurbishment. Its first exhibition was The People’s Pick – paintings from the collection as voted for by readers of the local newspaper The Fife Free Press.

When I was going round I was dreading the revelation of the most popular painting fearing it might be a Vettriano.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered No. 1. was….

Spring Moonlight by John Henry Lorimer!

My taste in art is obviously less highbrow than I might have hoped.

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  1. Painting with Light – A Son of the Rock -- Jack Deighton

    […] In its use of the qualities of light I was immediately reminded of John Henry Lorimer’s Spring Moonlight, which I blogged about here. […]

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