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Christies are putting up for auction the only known painting buy all four members of the Beatles, what makes this artwork even more sort after, is that fact it is also signed by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon. Titled Images of a Woman, 1966 , the acrylic and watercolour study, which will go up for auction on February 1st, is estimated to sell for between $400,000 – $600,000. I expect it will go for much higher than that amount.
In 1966, The Beatles played 5 night in Tokyo. Going to Japan was somewhat anticlimactic for The Beatles as they didn’t see much of it due to the heavy security surrounding the band. Nevertheless, the band created a world of their own in their hotel room, thanks to the high-quality art supplies they were gifted. Equipped with fine Japanese art paper, watercolours, oil paints and brushes, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr created what would become the only known painting made and signed by each of them.
The Beatles gave up touring two months after they were in Tokyo, and they never went back on tour as a group. That’s one of the reasons this painting is so special, the band never had this kind of time together again, stuck in a hotel room with nothing to do. The photographer Robert Whitaker had joined the band on tour, and his colour photographs brilliantly capture this snippet of time.
While The Beatles’ contributions to Images of a Woman seem decidedly abstract, the work acquired its current name in the late-1980s after a Japanese journalist thought he could see female genitals in Paul’s quadrant. While Lennon and McCartney favoured black paint for their portions, Harrison and Starr relied heavily on watercolour, and they united the quadrants with a punchy vermillion background to heighten the overall graphic effect. When the work was completed The Beatles removed the table lamp and signed an area of the remaining large white circle adjacent to their art.
If it was not for The Beatles’ generosity with their fans and supporters this piece of art may have been lost to us forever: It was typical of The Beatles that they would gift something to a fan or fan club without a second thought. They welcomed the president of Japan’s official Beatles Fan Club, Tetsusaburo Shimoyama, into their hotel suite, and gave him the painting.
If this piece is out of your budget, or you would rather a picture depicting the band, Inky Thump has recently finished a work or art showing the Beatles in the early 1960s. The painting is also available as a print.
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