Tretchikoff's 'Chinese Girl' goes under hammer
Russian painter Vladimir Tretchikoff's original painting of the Chinese Girl goes on auction as part of Bonhams' South African art sale.
Chinese Girl, also known as The Green Lady due to the girl's distinctive green-hued skin, is the world's most reproduced print. Tretchikoff claimed that by the end of his career he had sold half a million large-format reproduction of the painting worldwide.
The Russian artist painted the Chinese Girl in Cape Town, where he moved in 1946. His model was 17-year-old Monika Sing-Lee, whom he spotted at a launderette in Sea Point. According to Tretchikoff's biographer Boris Gorelik, the painting became "one of the most important pop culture icons in Britain and the Commonwealth in the 1950s".
The work has been exhibited in New York and Johannesburg prior to the sale.