Vladimir Tretchikoff's painting 'Chinese Girl' is, according to the BBC
, the world's most reproduced print. The painting is sometimes called "The Green Lady" for the unusual skin tone used for her face.
was born in 1913 and he died in 2006. During his career he was one of the most commercially successful artists of all time. His most frequently painted subjects were portraits of Asian women and pictures of flowers.
Tretchikoff painted 'The Chinese Girl' in 1950 and it became one of the world's most popular paintings when made into print in the 1960s and 1970s. The model of the picture was Monika Sing-Lee
, who was aged 17 at the time.
The portrait will be part of London auction house Bonhams' South African art sale on March 20, where it could fetch up to £500,000 according to the Cape Argus
Discussing the work in the Independent
, writer Boris Gorelik said: "This is one of the most important pop culture icons in Britain and the Commonwealth in the 1950s to early 1960s. Today, even prints of the Green Lady in mint condition, which went for a couple of pounds in their day, change hands for hundreds of pounds.
"Take the Chinese Girl for example: millions of people - perhaps your parents or grandparents - bought a lithograph of this painting, hung it on their wall and admired it for years, if not decades. Maybe even you grew up looking at it. And today you can get the real thing - the original canvas. It's certainly fascinating."