Born in Siberia in 1913, Vladimir Tretchikoff was one of the most commercially-successful artists of all time; believed to have earned more during his lifetime than any painter other than Picasso.
He fled with his wealthy family from the Russian Revolution in North China. Tretchikoff later moved to Singapore, where he held a variety of interesting jobs. One of them was working as a propaganda artist for the British Ministry of Information in 1941. This gave him the opportunity to paint many famous personalities of the day.
At the end of the war, Tretchikoff and his wife resettled in Cape Town, South Africa. His portraits of oriental women brought him enormous popular acclaim around the world.
Due to living in Shanghai and Singapore, the influence of the exotic can be seen in most of Tretchikoff’s work. His figure studies generally featured members of African tribes or oriental women. He was also fascinated with oriental flowers which he imbued through the use of dramatic composition.
Vladimir Tretchikoff remained based in South Africa, where he died in August 2006.