John Lennon; Yoko Ono
John Lennon; Yoko Ono
by John Lennon
bromide print, 1968
14 1/2 in. x 9 in. (367 mm x 230 mm) image size
Given by John Morton Morris, 2015
Sittersback to top
Artistback to top
- John Lennon (1940-1980), Musician; co-founder and singer for The Beatles. Artist of 2 portraits, Sitter in 80 portraits.
This portraitback to top
One of three black and white prints of a nude John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken by Lennon on a time-delay camera for the cover of Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968). (The full length front and back poses were used). Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968) was first of three experimental albums released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on Apple Records and resulted from an all-night music session in Lennon’s home while his wife Cynthia was away in Greece. The cover image was taken in private in Ringo Starr's flat in Montagu Square. The evening following the photo shoot, John Lennon requested Jeremy Banks, who worked closely with Lennon as art director, to have the photographs secretly developed for use on the cover. Upon the album’s release in 1968, the images provoked such outrage that it was banned as obscene in some jurisdictions, and prompted distributors to cover it in a plain brown wrapper. The album's title came from the couple's feeling that they were ‘two innocents, lost in a world gone mad’, and because after making the recording the two consummated their relationship.
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, London (Ringo Starr's flat, 34 Montagu Square, Marylebone, London)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1968back to top
Current affairsEnoch Powell delivers his 'Rivers of Blood' speech in Birmingham in opposition to anti-discrimination legislation and immigration from the commonwealth. The speech is usually regarded as racist and blamed for stirring up racial prejudice. Powell was sacked from the shadow cabinet as a result, but received considerable public approval at the time for his views.
Fay Sislin becomes England first black woman police officer.
Art and scienceBeaton Portraits is the first ever photographic exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Under the directorship of Roy Strong, the exhibition introduced a new, theatrical approach to display, and was so popular that the national press reported on the length of queues to get in and it had to be extended twice.
InternationalCivil unrest escalates in France as student protesters, joined by striking workers, clash with the police. The events came to represent the conflict between the new, liberalised, left-wing generation and the forces of authority and conservatism. French protests were mirrored by others abroad including the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, where political liberalisation was achieved for a few months before the country was invaded by the Soviet Union.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
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