Tretchikoff's Kitchy "Chinese Girl" Could Fetch "High Art" Price

Created: 2013-03-20 12:21 EST

Category: Life

She has inspired cabaret acts and is one of the best selling prints of all time.

[Tricity Vogue, Cabaret Singer]:
"She's my muse."

Now, Vladimir Tretchikoff's 'Chinese Girl' will go under the hammer at Bonham's in London where she is expected to fetch up to 750,000 USD (500,000 GBP) at auction.

Giles Peppiatt of Bonhams explains why the painting is especially valuable.

[Giles Peppiatt, Director of South African Art at Bonhams]:
"It was painted in 1953 by Vladimir Tretchikoff and for his tour of the US of that year and he took it on tour of the US and it was quite well received out there. He then sold it at the end of that tour to a family in Chicago and really there it remained but before doing that he had taken some prints of the work and I suppose that's how its fame came out because these prints were the best-selling fine art prints in the world."

Tretchikoff himself claimed that by the end of his career he had sold half a million large-format reproductions of the print worldwide.

'Chinese Girl' was inspired by Monika Sing-Lee, who was working at her uncle's laundrette in Cape Town when Tretchikoff spotted her and asked her to model for him.

And, it seems her magic is still going strong ...