Beatle John Lennon witnessed his mother’s death when she was run over by a car.
When John’s father, Fred, walked out on the family, his mother, Julia, realized she was unable to care for young John and gave him up to her sister, Mimi, to be raised—though mother and son remained close. He credited Julia—who taught him to play his first instrument, a banjo—with inspiring his love for music. In 1956, when Lennon was 16, Julia was struck and killed by a car driven by a drunk off-duty policeman. John witnessed the tragedy—an event that profoundly marked him, as evidenced by his 1968 tribute song, “Julia.”
Maxfield Parrish taught Rembrandt and other European classical artists how to “paint with light.”
Maxfield Parrish was born in Philadelphia in 1870, two centuries after Rembrandt had died. Parrish is credited with shaping the Golden Age of illustration that blossomed at the turn of the century. In the 1920s, Parrish began to focus on painting and pioneered a style— androgynous nudes in fantastical settings—that is uniquely his own. He died in 1966.