Rediscovering Tretchikoff: Embracing the New Era of High-Quality Prints

Rediscovering Tretchikoff: Embracing the New Era of High-Quality Prints

Collecting Tretchikoff prints is not a pursuit for the second-rate connoisseur. It is a tribute to an era that encapsulates the particular tastes, hopes, ideals, and artifacts of the mid-1950s and 60s, an epoch affectionately referred to as the 'Tretchikoff Era'. During those years, millions of people across the Commonwealth, from Cape Town to Canterbury, from Boksburg to Birmingham, from Sydney to Singapore, purchased Tretchikoff prints without ever laying eyes on the originals. Tretchikoff's actual paintings were held exclusively in private hands, absent from any museum or art gallery. This dearth of access to the real paintings has persisted for decades, spanning generations, and the general public was left to appreciate reproductions.

The most famous of Tretchikoff's works, "The Chinese Girl," was globally recognized as the 'Green Lady' due to her unusual complexion. Interestingly, Boris Gorelik explains, because the colour varied in reproductions based on the market and fading levels, few were quite sure what true colour of her face actually was, leading some to dub her the 'Blue Lady.' Tretchikoff's iconic works like "Lost Orchid," "The Dying Swan," "Journey’s End," "Penny Whistlers," "Balinese Girl," "Miss Wong," and "Lady from Orient" have been hidden from public view for over half a century, adorning the walls of private homes, glimpsed only by a select few.

These paintings existed in a realm of their own, and their reproductions evolved into standalone art objects with a unique history and aesthetic value. Although reproductions are typically considered derivative, this is not entirely the case with prints of Tretchikoff's paintings because the reproductions are an extension of his artistic practice. In the 1980s, his reproductions ceased production, and his original canvases commanded hundreds of pounds.

The 1990s marked a resurgence in interest in Tretchikoff's images, thanks to the revival of 1950s-style interiors and their compatibility with retro-chic decor. This resurgence led to a Tretchikoff revival, with his prints appearing in homes, clubs, restaurants, films, music videos, and even the works of younger artists. In 2011, the South African National Gallery held the first-ever retrospective of Tretchikoff paintings, further fueling the fascination with his art. As time passes, vintage reproductions become scarcer, many having perished. With the increasing value of Tretchikoff's original paintings. Notably, while vintage prints retain their allure, there's a new and exciting development in the world of Tretchikoff art. It is time for the reintroduction of Tretchikoff prints, new and old to extend and revitalise his artistic vision.

The latest prints being produced under a new licensing with the Fantastical Miss Wong Pty (Ltd) are of even higher quality than their predecessors. These contemporary reproductions come on archival paper, embossed, and in limited editions, elevating the Tretchikoff experience for collectors and enthusiasts. The enhanced quality of these prints ensures that Tretchikoff's iconic works are presented with greater precision and detail, allowing aficionados to appreciate the artistry and nuances of his paintings in ways that were not previously possible 

Moreover, the limited edition nature of these new prints adds an element of exclusivity, making them highly coveted pieces for collectors. The combination of improved quality, embossing, and limited availability brings Tretchikoff's art to a new level, ensuring that his legacy endures and continues to captivate art enthusiasts for generations to come.



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