Chinese Girl

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Chinese Girl
Chinese girl tretchikoff.jpg
Artist Vladimir Tretchikoff
Year 1952–1953
Type Oil on canvas

Chinese Girl (often popularly known as The Green Lady) is a 1952 painting by Vladimir Tretchikoff. It became one of the world's most popular paintings when made into prints in the 1950s and 1960s, and is one of the world's best-selling art reproductions of the twentieth century.[1] The painting is of a Chinese girl and is best known for the unusual skin tone used for her face—a blue-green colour, which gives the painting its popular name "The Green Lady". Though Tretchikoff maintained that the first version of this painting had been destroyed in Cape Town and he painted a new version during his 1953 tour of the US, researchers have found no proof of this claim.[1]

The original sold for almost $1.5 million (£982,050) at Bonhams auction house in London on 20 March 2013. It was purchased by British jeweller Laurence Graff. Since 30 November the same year, it has been on public display at Delaire Graff Estate near Stellenbosch, South Africa.[2]


The model was Monika Sing-Lee, who was around twenty at the time.[3] She was spotted by Tretchikoff while working in her uncle's launderette in Cape Town, South Africa.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

  • This painting can be seen hanging in the background of an animated living room in the music video for the song "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John.
  • It can be seen at the top of the stairs in the parochial house in Father Ted.
  • It can be seen adorning the living room of Bob Rusk, the killer in Alfred Hitchcock's 1972 film, Frenzy.
  • It is in several Monty Python TV episodes; in a skit where a door-to-door documentary presenter describes the lurid sex lives of mollusks, and in an evening with the cheap laughs, where a moustache is painted on it.
  • The painting is seen in the apartment of Ruby, Shelley Winters' character, in Alfie (1966),
  • In the Cammell and

Roeg film Performance (1970).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Boris Gorelik (2013). Incredible Tretchikoff. Art / Books. ISBN 978-1-908970-08-4. 
  2. ^ "Tretchikoff's Chinese Girl Unveiled at Delaire Graff Estate". Graff Diamonds press release, 29 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Face to face with the woman who is Tretchi's Chinese Girl". Mail & Guardian, 20 May 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 

External links[edit]