Auction house Christie’s announced this week that a painting created by all four The Beatles members: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, has fetched $1.74 million at a recent auction.
The artwork, titled “Images of a Woman”, is considered the only painting that all band members contributed to and put their signatures on. It was created in 1966 during a series of shows The Beatles performed at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The Beatles’ arrival to Japan drew a lot of criticism at the time, and the band had to spend a lot of their free time in their hotel rooms. As the story goes, the band was given art supplies to pass the time indoors, so they decided to make a painting together.
They took a piece of Japanese art paper, placed a lamp in the middle to illuminate it, and each member proceeded to paint one corner. They later signed it and gifted it to Tokyo’s Beatles Fan Club. Since then, the painting changed hands several times before being put up for auction through Christie’s by its current owner.
“It’s by the hand of all four Beatles together, collectively,” Casey Rogers, head of sale for The Exceptional Sale and senior vice-president for Christie’s, told BBC. “It’s a piece of memorabilia, and it’s a piece of fine art, and I think that’s what’s really unique.”
The painting was originally estimated to go for around $600K but became the subject of a bidding war once the auction started, and the price skyrocketed to $1.74 million.