The Beatles painting Images of a Woman, Tokyo, 1966.

Images of a Woman, also known as The Tokyo Painting is one of those rare Beatles memorabilia pieces that not many people have heard about. It is an abstract collaboration painted and signed by John, Paul, George and Ringo. In 1966, the fab four were holed up in a Toyko Hilton hotel room, scheduled to play at Budokan Hall in the centre of Tokyo. It was decided that it was too dangerous for them to look around the city, due to the hysteria surrounding their visit and the many reported death threats made against them. Completely bored, someone, possibly Brian Epstein or their Japanesse promoter, Tats Nagashima, suggested that they quietly paint to pass the time with a canvas and paints.

Working by lamp light, positioned in the centre of the canvas, the Beatles each painstakingly painted a corner of the canvas over two nights. Upon its completion, the Beatles signed their work in the centre where the lamp once sat. The painting was originally donated to charity and even disappeared, tucked underneath a bed, for safe keeping for almost twenty years. It has been auctioned off several times over the years, and was last reportedly auctioned in 2012 for around $150,000. It may not be a Picasso, but it is a marvelous expression of individual styles.


Photo credits: I am unsure of the copyright status of the images used here in association with the Tokyo painting of 1966. I make use of them under the rationale of fair use to illustrate an important moment in pop culture.

Robert Horvat is a Melbourne based blogger. He believes that the world is round and that art is one of our most important treasures. He has seen far too many classic films and believes coffee runs through his veins. As a student of history, he favours ancient and medieval history. Music pretty much rules his life and inspires his moods. Favourite artists include The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Garbage and Lana Del Rey.

3 comments on “The Beatles painting Images of a Woman, Tokyo, 1966.

  1. That is so cool! I never heard about this.

  2. Both images are fab, Robert!

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