V: Vladimir Tretchikoff

Vladimir Tretchikoff is one of the most successful artists of all time -his Chinese Girl painting has been reproduced the most out of any other image in the 20th century. While many love him, many don’t – at the time even the art critics saw his work as kitsch which upset him greatly all of his lifetime.

He was a travelled man, from Siberia to China to Singapore to South Africa where he lived his life after being in a Japanese prison camp during World War 2. He painted many portraits of women he had met across the globe, adding vibrant colours which he called “symbolic realism”. The Chinese Girl’s face is saturated with a bluey green hue , hence it being referred to as The Green Lady. The model was  Monika Sing-Lee, who he found working in a launderette in South Africa. Painted in 1950, this became a hugely popular print in the next 2 decades and is now very collectable 60 years on.

chinese girl 2

The original recently sold for £982K by a South African business man…proving that this image was not only the most reproduced but was a valuable one too!

Recognise it? Maybe you had one on your wall as a child or have one now. Ours is hanging above the fireplace in the lounge.

chinese girl

Well it also appeared along side another of his prints, Miss Wong,  in the living room of Bob Rusk, the killer in Hitchcock’s film Frenzy in 1972.



It was also in Ruby’s house in the film Alfie in 1966. The Monty Python cast even drew a moustache on her in their popular comedy show.



It also is hanging on the wall in David Bowie’s video The Stars…well if it’s good enough for them, then it’s sure good enough for our home!


Do you have one in your home? Or maybe you prefer another one of his works (well there’s so many amazing ones to choose from!) Send us your pictures so we can share them on the blog!

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  1. 22 January 2014 / 10:24 pm

    I love tretchikoff and Gerald Kelly prints. I wish I hadn’t sold my copies but then again I wouldn’t have any room if I kept everything. I have to take some out in order to ring the changes with new stuff.

  2. Your vintage life
    22 January 2014 / 10:43 pm

    I love Gerald Kelly too..we have one waiting to be hung in our bathroom when it is eventually done. In fact we wrote a blog about it a while back x

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