Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Russian-born painter Tretchikoff dies in South Africa

The only original Tretchikoff painting I have ever seen and liked is in the boardroom of the National Horseracing [sic] Authority in Turffontein. It's a huge painting, shown above. The news of his death reminded me of the picture. Horse racing is on the decline in South Africa, to the point where the NHRA is jokingly referred to as "Negligible Horse Racing Activity".

Johannesburg - Russian-born painter Vladimir Tretchikoff died at the age of 92 in South Africa on 26th August, having produced the world's biggest selling print and a host of popular paintings during a career that spanned five decades, it was reported on Sunday.

The artist who settled in South Africa in the late 1940s after living in Asia where he worked as a propaganda artist for British authorities, is listed as one of the southern African country's top artists.
His China Girl portrait (above) is considered the most famous of his works, many of which are displayed in galleries worldwide. It has the record for the largest number of prints sold. The colourful painting by the self-taught painter and several of his other works, including, The Dying Swan, Zulu Girl and Lost Orchid, are also widely embraced as kitsch in some art circles.
Tretchikoff was born in 1913 and raised in Manchuria. He also lived and worked in Singapore and Jakarta before moving to the South African city of Cape Town where he ran a busy studio until he suffered a stroke four years ago, according to the Sunday Times newspaper.


Anonymous said...

Im from NZ and have just bought a Tretchikoff print on line and am wrapt, not "The Chinese Girl" I bought a "Miss Wong" Trememdously popular over here and definitely part of our cultural heritage, touching on the pacific roots we know and are accustomed to. I love the prints. I was surprised to find that he had just died, so sad to lose an artist so 'under valued'

Anonymous said...

I also have a Tretchikoff picture of the Chinese Girl in a beautiful frame it was my sister in laws .How would I go about to find out the value of it .I live in Florida .Her Father used to own a Chinese gift shop in NY City many yrs ago .

Donn Edwards said...

Take it to a reputable auction house for an estimate. If it's an original it will have some value, but if it's a print it probably is best left on your wall.

I'm not an art expert. Perhaps you could send a digital photo to a reputable art dealer, but I have no idea who they are. In SA my first port of call would be Sotheby's, but I have no idea about the USA.

Anonymous said...

Tretchikoff's on Dunkeld sale.