A painting of the Beatles by artist Jonathan Hague is unveiled at the Beatles Museum in Liverpool by Julia Baird, the half sister of John Lennon, and Roag Best, the half brother of former Beatles drummer Pete Best.
A Beatles portrait created by a Welsh artist, and one of John Lennon’s best friends in art college, has gone on display.
The figurative painting of the Fab Four in their Sgt Pepper uniforms was created by Jonathan Hague in 1984 and is similar to another of his works which was bought by Lennon in 1967, but has never been seen since.
The painting was unveiled by Lennon’s sister Julia Baird at the Liverpool Beatles Museum on the city’s Mathew Street on Thursday.
Ms Baird said her brother and Hague, who were known as “the two Johns” at the Liverpool College of Art, had maintained their friendship after the Beatles found success.
Lennon even bought a house for his college friend, who went on to become an art lecturer.
She said: “Some of Jonathan Hague’s paintings were Beatles-inspired and John did sponsor him.
“John and Paul (McCartney) together sponsored his exhibition in 1967 at the Royal Academy of Arts and John bought the original, if you like, the sister painting to this, and nobody knows where that is.
“It might turn up now.”
She said Lennon was a fan of the figurative art style and was believed to have paid £50,000 for the original work.
Hague, born in Llandudno, North Wales, painted the second piece for himself after John Lennon was fatally shot in New York in 1980.
Museum owner Roag Best, brother of the original Beatles drummer Pete Best, said the work had been donated by the family of Hague, who died in 2015.
He said: “Jonathan Hague was a country boy so when he came to Liverpool, John Lennon took a soft spot to him and showed him how to become streetwise, showed him how to dress, showed him how he should do his hair.
“It became a bond that continued right through their lives.”
The painting joins hundreds of exhibits of Beatles memorabilia in the five-storey museum, which opened in 2018.