Refectory, 2002

This lithograph printed with colours is one of a series of such prints, depicting scenes from Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel, ‘Jane Eyre’. Click on gallery image for more details. 


Paula Rego

Paula Rego DBE RA (born 1935) is a Portuguese artist known for her figurative paintings and prints, which are often based on children’s folktales. Among her most famous works are her ‘Dog Women’ paintings, a playful series depicting a magical realist world where women behave as dogs. Some of the paintings in the series have disturbing sexual undertones, eluding to the artist’s strong feminist beliefs, which she has made a feature in much of her art. Rego’s work is heavily influenced by Surrealist artists like Joan Miró; though gradually her paintings 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. Her artistic career effectively began in early 1962, when 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 was selected to take part in a group show, Six Artists, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, ICA, in London. That same year she had her first solo show at the Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes in Lisbon. She was also the Portuguese representative at the 1969 São Paulo Art Biennial. Between 1971 and 1978 she had seven solo shows in Portugal, and then a series of solo exhibitions in Britain. In 1990, Rego was invited to become the first Associate Artist at the National Gallery, London. Other exhibitions include a retrospective at Tate Liverpool in 1997, Dulwich Picture Gallery in 1998, Tate Britain in 2005, and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2007.

A major retrospective of her work was held at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid in 2007, which travelled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. the following year.
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 the work of Paula Rego.

Paula Rego continues to live and work in London, England.