Cynthia's Fab Four

The Mirror May 28, 2000

  New portraits of Lennon by wife he met at art school IT was art that brought John Lennon and his first wife Cynthia together.

Now, almost 20 years after the ex-Beatle's death, she has used her talent as an artist to bring him closer to their son.

Cynthia has painted four portraits of the pop legend as a gift to 37-year-old musician Julian - but it's a gift that can be also be shared by Beatles fans and art lovers, as limited edition sets of prints go on sale this week for pounds 349.

Cynthia, 60, who lives alone in a two-bedroom cottage close to the sea in Normandy, says it was her desire to capture Julian on canvas that helped revive her long- dormant skills as a painter. "Julian was the key," she says. "Last year I looked at him and saw that the boy had become a man who knew where he was going and I knew I had to paint him.

"He was delighted with his portrait and gave me every encouragement to take up painting again."

Cynthia, from the Wirral, met Lennon at Liverpool Art College. "He was a scruffy but very popular lad and he referred to me as 'the posh girl from the other side of the water'."

She gave up painting to devote herself to their marriage and their son. After they parted in 1968 she "dabbled", but it's only now she has taken it up seriously.

Her paintings show Lennon in a collarless Beatle jacket in 1963, cherubic-looking in 1965, with a moustache in 1967 and as he looked shortly before he was murdered in December 1980.