The Lorimers were a richly creative Scottish family. John Lorimer was the second son of Professor James Lorimer (who took on the 'repairing lease' of Kellie Castle in Fife) and the elder brother of Robert Stodhart Lorimer, the architect. After studying at Edinburgh University he trained at the Royal Scottish Academy under McTaggart and Chalmers and then in Paris with Carolus Duran. A successful portraitist, he also painted contemporary genre scenes and had first-hand knowledge of artistic developments in France. He lived at Kellie Castle for over 60 years.