A previously undisclosed collaborative painting by The Beatles is set to go under the hammer at Christie’s New York auction house on 1 February 2023. Created during their 1966 tour of Japan, the artwork offers a unique glimpse into the minds of the legendary musicians and their creative process.
In the midst of a tumultuous tour marked by death threats and confinement to their hotel room, The Beatles found refuge in art. Gifted with high-quality art supplies, they conjured up “Images of a Woman,” their only known collaborative painting. The piece, measuring 54.6 x 78.8 centimeters, is a testament to their shared creativity and artistic talents.
The painting’s significance lies not only in its rarity but also in the context of its creation. It was during this tour that The Beatles decided to abandon touring altogether, marking a pivotal moment in their career. The painting serves as a tangible reminder of this transition, capturing their collective energy and shared passion for music and art.
Christie’s anticipates an enthusiastic response from collectors and Beatles enthusiasts alike. Casey Rogers, head of sale for The Exceptional Sale and senior vice-president for Christie’s, highlights the painting’s dual nature as a valuable collectible and a significant work of art. The painting’s estimated value ranges from 400,000 600,000, reflecting its historical and artistic significance.
The painting has been meticulously preserved over the years, retaining the distinct signatures of each Beatle in the circular space once occupied by a ceramic lamp. The aroma of Virginia tobacco, a constant companion to the band, still lingers in the air, adding to the painting’s evocative power.
The Beatles’ shared passion for art extended beyond this collaborative effort. John Lennon, a former art college attendee, was known for his doodling, while Paul McCartney pursued photography. Ringo Starr and McCartney later incorporated painting into their downtime, often using their creations for charitable causes. George Harrison, known for introducing the Indian sitar into Beatles recordings, expressed his creativity through colorful swirls on the exterior of his Surrey home.
“Images of a Woman” offers an intriguing glimpse into the creative minds of The Beatles, capturing a moment of transition and artistic camaraderie. As the painting goes up for auction, it is poised to become a prized possession for collectors, a symbol of the band’s enduring legacy, and a testament to the transformative power of art in challenging times.