Tretchikoff's Eternal Palette: The Timeless Dance of Colours

Tretchikoff's Eternal Palette: The Timeless Dance of Colours

12/04/2024     General News, Live Auctions

Tales that go beyond the canvas, stories of chance meetings and moments frozen in time – Aspire Art is excited to bring to market exquisite works by prolific artist, the one and only Vladimir Tretchikoff.


The artist, Tretchikoff in his studio, c. 1960s.


Proudly presenting the first collection of works of this calibre since the groundbreaking GBP 982 050 sale of Tretchikoff's Chinese Girl in London in 2013, we are thrilled to introduce not just one, but three quintessential pieces by the artist as part of the legacy single-owner sale, Taking Flight: Selected Works from the Phoenix Collection taking place on 20 April at Boschendal Estate.  Each piece represents a distinct phase in the artist's career, showcasing the evolution of his style, subject matter and vision. Nestled within the historic Old Manor House, these masterpieces find themselves in esteemed company, alongside works by Irma Stern, Alexis Preller and Ablade Glover, to name a few.


Tretchikoff's legendary painting, the enchanting The Hindu Dancer, is at the forefront of this offering. Capturing the transient glimpse of feminine beauty, at the centre of this work is Champa Manooa, a vivacious dancer whose identity remained a mystery until the painting's unveiling at a Cape Town auction over a decade ago. Chameli Jain, her daughter, fondly remembers her mother's anecdotes of her collaboration with Tretchikoff. Their story unfolds from a chance encounter at one of Tretchikoff's Durban exhibitions. Enthralled by his artistry, Chameli found herself posing for the artist, resulting in this much-celebrated work.


LEFT: Lot 9: The Hindu Dancer | R 1 500 000 - 2 000 000

RIGHT: Champa Manooa in the 1960s


The Hindu Dancer not only showcases Tretchikoff's adeptness at portraying movement and emotion but also epitomises his fascination with the allurement, charm and heavenliness of the human experience. Using bold colours and dynamic brushstrokes, he brings Chameli's dance to life on canvas. Recalling Tretchikoff's meticulousness, Chameli reminisces about his integration of cultural nuances into the artwork. This meticulousness adds layers to the piece, echoing Tretchikoff's masterful dedication to his craft.


Another highlight is Wajang Dancer, Java a captivating work from Tretchikoff's time in Java in the early 1940s, offering a unique glimpse into the artist's diverse worldly experiences and inspirations. He absorbed the culture around him, and this would be a prevailing influence throughout his career. His numerous portrayals of individuals he met in Java showcased his extraordinary talent for encapsulating the essence and aura of his subjects. These works would be exhibited during his first exhibitions in South Africa from 1948 to 1949.


Lot 10: Wajanga Dancer, Java | R 800 000 - 1 200 000


The charming painting of arum lilies, Winds of the Cape, is a testament to Tretchikoff's ability to infuse even the simplest of subjects with a sense of emotion and timeless beauty.


Lot 8: Winds of the Cape | R 400 000 - 600 000


The works on offer celebrate and showcase Tretchikoff's enduring legacy as one of the most successful commercial artists of his time.


View the works from In Flight: Selected Works from the Phoenix Collection






TAKING FLIGHT: Selected Works from the Phoenix Collection

20 April 2024 at 6pm



Until 20 April 2024

Monday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm
Fridays: 9am – 7pm


Discover more from TAKING FLIGHT: Selected Works from the Phoenix Collection