Tretchikoff painting up for auction

2013-05-02 09:49
Johannesburg - One of South Africa's most iconic paintings, The Dying Swan, by Vladimir Tretchikoff, will go under the hammer in Johannesburg on 20 May, it was reported on Thursday.

Stephen Welz, art expert and auctioneer at Strauss & Co, told Beeld the painting was as famous as Tretchikoff's Chinese Girl and The Lost Orchid.

"It's an iconic painting, and in my opinion among the top five South African paintings of all time in terms of iconic value," he was quoted as saying.

"Hundreds of thousands of prints were made of it and, during the 1950s and 1960s, there was hardly a South African home without it."

Welz estimated the value of the painting "very conservatively" at around R1.2 million.

"I'm expecting huge international interest, because the painting was in the United States for a long time before it was returned to South Africa."

According to Beeld, the ballerina in the painting is Dame Alicia Markova, who was regarded as one of the two top ballerinas in the world in 1949, when the piece was painted. Tretchikoff could not find a swan when Markova posed for the painting, so he used a dead duck instead.

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