Thursday, February 08, 2007

Images of a Woman

Everything you need to know about "Images Of A Woman", a painting produced by all four Beatles during their 1966 Japan tour.

"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.

The Budokan was used for sumo wrestling, which was very popular in Japan and there were protests outside the stadium by people who felt the Beatles should not be allowed into the home of sumo wrestling.

"We met these sumo wrestlers and there was a little bit of friction about playing there. We had a police and soldier escort for 2 miles, all the way to the stadium, but once we got into the show it was great and the Japanese were very kind." - Alf Bicknell (the Beatles' chauffeur)

To keep busy during the long days stuck in the hotel room, the Beatles were given some paper and paints by their Japanese promoter. 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.

The Beatles working on their painting

"I never saw them calmer, more contented than at this time. They were working on something that let their personalities come out. I think it's the only work they ever did all together that had nothing to do with music. They were very harmonious and happy, calling their wives and girlfriends, all the time doing this painting. They'd stop, go and do a concert and then it was "Let's go back to the picture!" - Robert Whitaker (photographer)

[Above quotes and information from MOJO, 1000 Days That Shook The World]

With the completed painting


This article appeared in the Liverpool Echo on May 8 2002:


The Beatles visited Japan only once in 1966 for exactly 100 hours.
But they were so bored holed up in their VIP suite in Tokyo's Hilton Hotel they decided to paint a picture.
Today, that painting is expected to sell for over £350,000 when it goes on sale on the Internet.
John, Paul, George and Ringo painted the picture called Images Of A Woman while on tour in Japan in 1966.
Brian Epstein, the late manager of the band, handed them a large canvas and asked them to create some artwork.
The finished painting was eventually presented to Mr Tetsusaburo Shimoyama, who was chairman of the band's fan club in Japan.
A spokesperson for eBay said: "We certainly believe this picture is as great as Picasso's and Van Gogh's, although the quality is completely different.
"It is true that John Lennon's illustration is highly esteemed as an artistic lithograph.
"And it is not too much to regard Images of a Woman as the one and only Beatles' painted picture in the world because no similar pictures by those four members has been discovered in the world."
A spokesperson for Liverpool's Mathew Street Gallery said: "It is a very famous painting.
" The guy who owned it recently died and that is why it has come up for auction.
"This is the second time it has been up for auction because last time it did not meet its reserve price.
"I believe it already has this time. It's a wonderful painting."


John and Paul painting

Ringo's corner of the painting

Paul's corner of the painting

George's corner of the painting

John's corner of the painting


This is another painting that John Lennon and Paul McCartney produced during their stay at the Tokyo Hilton.

George drawing:


changemyworld said...

Oh lovely pictures, parfait. I love love John in these. Do you know if they were taken by Bob Whitaker and if these photos are collected in a photo book?
thank you :D

Anonymous said...

Is there any way or place to buy a print of "Images of a Woman"? I have been looking for like a year. Please contact me if you know.

Anonymous said...

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