Paula Rego

Paula Rego DBE RA (1935 - 2022) is best known for her figurative paintings and prints, which are often based on children’s folktales. Initially Rego’s work was heavily influenced by Surrealist artists like Joan Miró; though gradually her paintings, pastel drawings and prints have become more realistically rendered with similarities to the work of the painter Balthus in their strong, clear drawing style and depictions of women in strange or unsettling situations.


Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Rego studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London from 1952 - 1956. In early 1962 she began exhibiting with The London Group (a long-established artists’ organisation, which had David Hockney and Frank Auerbach among its members). In 1965 she had her first solo show at the Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes in Lisbon.


In 1990, Rego was invited to become the first Associate Artist at the National Gallery, London. Other exhibitions include retrospectives at Tate Liverpool in 1997, Dulwich Picture Gallery in 1998, Tate Britain in 2005, and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2007.


Rego’s artwork can be seen in many public and private institutions around the world, including the collections of the National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Tate Gallery in London; as well as the the Casa das Histórias in Cascais, Lisbon; a museum solely dedicated to her work.