Saturday, June 18, 2011

Images of A Woman

The Beatles arrived in Tokyo on June 29th, 1966. They had received death threats before the trip to Japan and were advised not to leave their hotel, the Tokyo Hilton. Paul and Mal Evans took a walk around the Imperial Palace and John visited the Oriental Market and Asahi Gallery, but other than that they stayed in the hotel room all day until it was time for their concert at the Budokan Hall.

Sheer boredom prompted them to begin painting what is now known as "Images of A Woman." Over a course of two nights they all collaborated on the painting, which was on paper and paints provided by their Japanese promoter, Tats Nagashima. The paper was 30 inches by 40 inches and was placed on a table with a lamp at the centre. Working by the light of the lamp, each of the Beatles decorated their own corner of the paper with oil paints and watercolours. Paul's corner had a symmetrical, psychedelic feel, while John's had a dark centre surrounded by thick oils. George's part of the picture was large and colourful, and Ringo's was cartoon-like. When the lamp was removed from the table, it left a white circle in the middle of the painting, which was signed by all four of the Beatles.

Tats Nagashima suggested that the finished painting be sold for charity, and it was purchased by cinema manager and fan club president Tetsusaburo Shimoyama. In the mid-1990s the painting was reportedly sold to a dealer in Osaka for ¥ 15 million. In 2002 the painting changed hands again, when the Internet auction site eBay offered it for sale. In May that year the Liverpool Echo reported that the painting was expected to sell for over £350,000 and quoted an eBay spokesman: "We certainly believe this picture is as great as Picasso's and Van Gogh's, although the quality is completely different. And it is not too much to regard 'Images of a Woman' as the one and only Beatles' painted picture in the world."

(Photos scanned by me from Eight Days A Week. Taken by Robert Whitaker. Info from Eight Days A Week and Sing My Heart, Speak My Mind.) 


Chrissie said...

WOW!! I have never heard of this amazing picture before. Wow! The painting is just amazing and beautiful and shows The Beatles' creative side. Thanks for posting!!

Tonya said...

LOVE it. I've never seen these images either..amazing.
You have wonderful posts, always.

Anonymous said...

This blog is AMAZING! i just realized that we share the exact intrests! please write back, i'm sure we could be great friends!

Kaitlyn said...

Wow, thank you!! On the "Contact" page is my email address, if you'd like to talk about the Beatles, the sixties, etc. :)