After a visit to a seance he was prompted by his muse Leonora Moltema, he followed a lead to the South and, through the Red Cross, found his wife and daughter. Five years after separating, he met his wife and daughter on the platform 13 at Cape Town Station, on the 13th of August 1946.
The next year the family’s home was unexpectedly visited by a plump pigeon that made him feel quite at home. In Russian culture it is good luck to be visited by a bird and the numbers on the tag on the pigeon’s leg added up to 13. The pigeon was invited to become part of the family and Vladimir Tretchikoff quickly took a turn for the better. His first exhibition was a sell-out success. Further shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg sold numerous canvases for a sizeable sum. Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, Vladimir Tretchikoff success continued to grow. His fame spread around the world. In Seattle, a rival exhibition which included work by Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko sold fewer tickets that Vladimir Tretchikoff. In 1961, he had a large exhibition in the ground-floor exhibition space of Harrods in London (he decided that the Harrods art gallery was too small) which was attended by around 200,000 people. Over the course of his career he had 252 worldwide exhibitions, with a total attendance of approximately 2,298,000. In 1973, Vladimir Tretchikoff published his autobiography, Pigeons Luck with Anthony Hocking. The book was a thrilling account of his wartime experiences. In the late 70’s he retired to his personally designed mansion and grew old together with Natalie, spending time with their daughter Mimi and four granddaughters.
In 2002 he suffered a stroke that left him unable to paint.
He died at the age of 92 in 2006, in Cape Town, South Africa, his home since 1946. Vladimir Tretchikoff work has been immensely popular with the general public, but widely criticized by art critics. He has been labelled as the king of kitsch, although his many fans compared his often garishly coloured art to Andy Warhol's.