First Previous 1 OF 59 NextLast

The Beatles (Pete Best; George Harrison; John Lennon; Paul McCartney; Stuart Sutcliffe)

1 of 59 portraits of John Lennon

The Beatles (Pete Best; George Harrison; John Lennon; Paul McCartney; Stuart Sutcliffe), by Astrid Kirchherr, 1960 - NPG P1690 - © Astrid Kirchherr / Getty Images

© Astrid Kirchherr / Getty Images

The Beatles (Pete Best; George Harrison; John Lennon; Paul McCartney; Stuart Sutcliffe)

by Astrid Kirchherr
gelatin silver print, 1960
7 1/8 in. x 9 3/8 in. (180 mm x 238 mm)
Purchased, 2012
Primary Collection
NPG P1690


Click on the links below to find out more:

Share this

Sittersback to top

  • Peter Randolph ('Pete') Best (1941-), Musician; drummer for The Beatles. Sitter in 3 portraits.
  • George Harrison (1943-2001), Musician; member of The Beatles. Sitter in 49 portraits.
  • John Lennon (1940-1980), Musician; co-founder and singer for The Beatles. Sitter in 59 portraits, Artist of 3 portraits.
  • Sir (James) Paul McCartney (1942-), Musician and member of The Beatles and Wings. Sitter in 51 portraits.
  • Stuart Sutcliffe (1940-1962), Artist and musician. Sitter in 3 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Taken at the Hamburger Dom fairground, this Astrid Kirchherr photograph shows the Beatles' original line-up, including bass player Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best. Shot with no particular purpose in mind, it would become the much-seen, classic image of the Beatles in their formative period, two years before they made their first record. Astrid remained in Hamburg but was sent to England in spring 1964 by the German magazine Stern, to photograph the Beatles during the making of their first film, A Hard Day's Night.

Placesback to top

  • Place made and portrayed: Germany (Hamburger Dom fairground, Heiligengeistfeld, Hamburg, Germany)

Events of 1960back to top

Current affairs

Prince Andrew is born, the third child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. The Contraceptive Pill is introduced in England, dramatically changing the nation's approach to sex and relationships, and significantly contributing to the 1960s culture of liberation.

Art and science

Penguin books defend D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover against charges of obscenity by demonstrating that the novel was of literary merit. The 'not guilty' verdict was seen as a victory for free speech and marked the beginning if a new era of liberalism. The satirical review Beyond the Fringe launches the careers of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller.

International

Harold Macmillan delivers his 'wind of change' speech to the South African Parliament in Cape Town, announcing Britain's decision to grant independence to many of her colonies. The speech recognised the emergence of African nationalism, and criticised the policy of Apartheid in South Africa.

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.