I can’t get over how there’s a Vladimir Tretchikoff painting that I recently saw for the first time that I really really like.
I saw this little postcard-size print at a hotel gift-shop and wondered why a painting of Françoise Hardy was being sold as a post card. On closer examination I saw it was a Tretchikoff, titled ‘Rainy Day’. I liked it and was amazed at the subject’s resemblance to the French singer.
Then popping in at Delaire-Graff recently, as one does, I finally got to see the Chinese Lady on display, in the flesh so to speak; remember I wrote about it here. It looks just like the millions of prints (haha) and it’s behind glass and a frame I don’t like. It’s not awesome.
Anyway, there’s a book on the artist and his life for sale; it was a tad pricey so I just flipped through it and guess what I found? The story behind the Françoise Hardy painting.
Because it is her, after all.
When she toured South Africa in 1968 she agreed to pose for him. From his website: “.. he realised that she was just the right model to pose for the subject he had long wanted to paint. Of this canvas the artist says: “It was inspired by the knowledge that there is a rainy day in every young girl’s life, a day when she feels insecure, imprisoned within herself, and the world seems wet and bleak.”
Maybe he saw something – she went on to become extremely ill as a result of anorexia for a number of years but seems to have recovered now.
So, this kitsch artist I’ve always mocked and loathed once painted my namesake, one of our most loved French singers, and one to whom I owe thanks for helping me get my name (sometimes) recognised in this country all those years here with a foreign name.
Are these two paintings a contrast, or what? Which would you want on your wall?