Chinese Girl ~ Tretchikoff

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  • Chinese Girl ~ Tretchikoff
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Vladimir Tretchikoff (1913-2006)
Chinese Girl
c.1955
Commercial Print
21 x 25 ins / 53 x 64 cms
Original Frame

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Additional Information

Vladimir Tretchikoff (1913-2006) was one of the most commercially successful artists of all time. This Chinese Girl painting (popularly known as 'The Green Lady') is one of the best selling art prints ever.

Throughout his life, Tretchikoff maintained that he did not know the true identity of his sitter - that she was someone he met in San Francisco. It is now generally acknowledged that the sitter was in fact a 17 year old Chinese girl called Monika Sing-Lee who Tretchikoff first met when he visited her uncle's laundry in Cape Town in the early 1950's. Miss Sing-Lee sat for Tretchikoff for two days a week over a ten week period, and recalls that when she eventually saw the painting it didn't impress her. "To be honest, I didn’t like that green face," she said "I thought it made me look ill".

Tretchikoff was a self-taught artist who painted realistic figures, portraits, still life and animals, with subjects often inspired by his early life in China and Malaysia, and later life in South Africa. Tretchikoff's work was immensely popular with the general public, but is often seen by art critics as the epitome of kitsch (he was nicknamed the "King of Kitsch"). He worked in oil, watercolour, ink, charcoal and pencil but is best known for his reproduction prints which sold worldwide in huge numbers. The reproductions were so popular that it was said Tretchikoff was second only to Picasso in his popularity.