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Iconic Painting by The Beatles Fetches $1.7 Million at Christie’s Auction

In a surprising turn of events, a painting created and signed by all four members of The Beatles recently took the spotlight at Christie’s auction house, shining a new light on the band’s artistic talents. Titled “Images of a Woman (1966),” this collaborative piece fetched an impressive $1.7 million, nearly tripling its high estimate of $600,000.

The Making of “Images of a Woman”

Crafted during a unique period of seclusion, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison joined forces to create “Images of a Woman” while confined to the Presidential Suite of the Hilton Hotel in Tokyo. Held for 100 hours between June 29 to July 3, 1966, the band found themselves under the watchful eye of Japanese authorities, who deemed the suite the safest location amidst their string of concert performances at Budokan Hall. Visitors to the suite, bearing gifts including high-quality art materials, inadvertently contributed to the creation of this iconic artwork.

Artistic Roots: The Beatles’ Previous Projects

While best known for their musical prowess, all four members of The Beatles had prior experience in the realm of visual art. Lennon, in particular, had attended art school for three years and even published two books featuring his “lightning-fast caricatures.” Despite their differing backgrounds, the four musicians came together to produce a piece that evolved organically over the course of two days, captured for posterity by photographer Robert Whitaker.

A Unique Relic: “Images of a Woman” Stands Alone

Though Whitaker documented the band’s creative process on various occasions, “Images of a Woman” stands out as the only substantial piece of art created collectively by all four Beatles during their tenure together. With its exceptional provenance and historical significance, the painting represents a remarkable artefact from a pivotal moment in music history.

From Under a Bed to the Auction Block: The Journey of a Beatles Masterpiece

Initially gifted to the president of the official Beatles Fan Club in Japan, “Images of a Woman” eventually found its way into the hands of record store owner Takao Nishino, who stored it under a bed for several years before consigning it for sale at Philip Weiss Auctions in 2012. Now, after being consigned by Tracks Ltd., UK, a renowned Beatles memorabilia dealer, the painting has once again captured the imagination of fans and collectors alike, solidifying its place as a priceless piece of Beatles history.

Feature image: Images of a Woman (1966); The collaborative work also features the band’s autographs | COURTESY CHRISTIE’S

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