Chinese Girl

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Chinese Girl
Chinese girl tretchikoff.jpg
ArtistVladimir Tretchikoff
MediumOil on canvas

Chinese Girl (often popularly known as The Green Lady) is a 1952 painting by Vladimir Tretchikoff. Mass-produced prints of the work in subsequent years were among the best-selling of the twentieth century.[1] The painting is of a Chinese young woman 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 USA, researchers have found no proof of this claim.[1]

The original sold for £982,050 at Bonhams auction house in London on 20 March 2013. It was purchased by British jeweller Laurence Graff.[2] Since 30 November the same year, it has been on public display at Delaire Graff Estate near Stellenbosch, South Africa.[3] Some scenes of Alfred Hitchcock's film Frenzy (1972) show pictures of the model Monika Sing-Lee by Tretchikoff, including this one. It is also used as front cover for the 1990s album Slap! by the British band Chumbawamba.


Monika Sing-Lee was around twenty at the time, and had some European ancestry.[4] Also known by her married name, Pon-Su-San, she was encountered by Tretchikoff, at the suggestion of Russian dancer Masha Arsenyeva, while working in her uncle's launderette in Cape Town, South Africa.[4] Pon-Su-San died in Johannesburg on 14 June 2017.

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  1. ^ a b Boris Gorelik (2013). Incredible Tretchikoff. Art / Books. ISBN 978-1-908970-08-4.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-05-14. Retrieved 2018-04-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Tretchikoff's Chinese Girl Unveiled at Delaire Graff Estate". Graff Diamonds press release, 29 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Face to face with the woman who is Tretchi's Chinese Girl". Mail & Guardian, 20 May 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2014.

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