One of the world’s most famous – and most reproduced – paintings, Vladimir Tretchikoff’s ‘Chinese Girl’ is to go on sale in London, and is expected to fetch up to half a million pounds.
The artist, who grew up in both Russia and China, died in 2006, leaving behind one of the most recognisable pictures in the world. Painted in 1952, the portrait of the Chinese Girl was inspired by Monika Sing-Lee, who was just seventeen years old when she was spotted by Tretchikoff at her uncle’s launderette in Cape Town, South Africa. The artist’s rendition of the model is undeniably striking, and quickly went on to become one of the most important pop culture icons during the 1950s. Living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and offices across the world are now home to the thousands of lithographs and printed reproductions of the young girl, and now fans of the painting have the chance to own the real thing.
The painting is being sold as part of Bonham’s South African art sale on March 20th, 2013, and will be displayed in both Johannesburg, where Tretchikoff resided, and New York, before it is sold for an estimated £500,000.
It is often difficult to determine what makes a masterpiece, although in our search we may turn to the director of South African Art at Bonham’s, Giles Peppiats, who said: “The iridescent hues of ‘Chinese Girl’ reflect Tretchikoff’s experimentation with the possibilities of his colour palette, the green-blue patina-like effect of the sitter’s face is uncanny, heightening the red of her lips and framed by her lustrous dark hair. The combination of lustrous golden silk and the blue-sheen of the model’s skin combine to produce an otherworldly glow: a luminescence that is the leitmotif of Tretchikoff’s best works.”
Sources include: The Guardian, BBC News
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