Paula Rego  (British/Portuguese, 1935) 

Paula Rego (British/Portuguese, b.1935) is a female painter whose work has been characterized by a strong narrative style that tells of tension beneath the surface. She was born in Lisbon, Portugal, into a middle-class home. When she was still a child, her father''s work took him to the United Kingdom. His wife followed him, but Rego remained in Portugal with her grandmother. She grew up hearing traditional folk stories from her grandmother and the family maid, and these stories influence her work greatly. She was schooled at Saint Julian''s School in Carcavelos, Portugal, from 1945 to 1951. In 1952, she wanted to enroll in the Chelsea School of Art in London, England, but her legal guardian at the time prevented her, fearful that her parents may not want her to interact with art students. However, her parents had no qualms about this, so she enrolled in the Slade School of Fine Art in London. She attended this school from 1952 to 1956, and, while studying there, she met Victor Willing, who would become her husband. From 1957 to 1963, she lived with her husband in Ericeira, Portugal. From 1963 to 1975, they divided their time between London and Portugal. She finally settled permanently in London in 1976.

When Rego was starting out, her work leaned more towards the Abstract style of painting, largely because it was the dominant style at the time. It was also partly because she was rebelling against her lecturers, who had placed lots of emphasis on anatomical figure drawing. In 1990, she was appointed artist-in-residence at the First National Gallery, London. Upon her appointment, she began to paint in the linear style she had learned at the Slade School. She prefers to use pastels and rarely uses oil paint. Her influences include Juan Miro (Spanish, 1893–1983), Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Jean Philipe Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985), Walt Disney (American, 1901–1966), and caricaturists.

Her most famous works include the Dog Women series. The series depicts women as behaving like dogs. Other notable works include the Nursery Rhymes etchings. Her work continues to be showcased in institutions such as the Tate Gallery in London, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, and The British Council. In 2010, she was made a Dame of the British Empire, making her the fourth woman painter to receive this honor. The artist continues to live and work in London.

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Paula Rego, The Psychiatrist


Paula Rego
The Psychiatrist

Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.
Paula Rego, Untitled 3


Paula Rego
Untitled 3

Mineta Fine Art
Paula Rego, Do you want to be my father?


Paula Rego
Do you want to be my father?

Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.
Paula Rego, Haven


Paula Rego

Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.
Paula Rego, St Christopher


Paula Rego
St Christopher

Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.
Paula Rego, Bondage


Paula Rego

Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.
Paula Rego, Small Rape


Paula Rego
Small Rape

Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.
Paula Rego, The Dolls' Playground


Paula Rego
The Dolls' Playground

Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.
Paula Rego, Goosey Goosey Gander


Paula Rego
Goosey Goosey Gander

TAI Modern
Past auction results (280)  View All
Paula Rego, O Mundo às avessas


Paula Rego
O Mundo às avessas


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Paula Rego, Royal College of Art secret postcard


Paula Rego
Royal College of Art secret postcard
black felt tip and pencil on card


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Paula Rego, Turtle Hands


Paula Rego
Turtle Hands, 2006
color lithograph


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1935   Born in Lisbon
1945 - 1951   Educated in St Julian's School, Carcavelos
1952 - 1956   The Slade School of Art, London
1992   Honorary Master of Art, Winchester School of Art, 12 June
1999   Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 24 June
1999   Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 8 July
2000   Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Rhode Island School of Design, USA, 3 June
2002   Honorary Doctorate of Letters, The London Institute, 23 May
2004   Grã Cruz da Ordem de Sant'Iago da Espada presented by the President of Portugal
2005   Commissioned by the Royal Mail to produce a set of Jane Eyre Stamps
2005   Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Oxford University, June
2006   Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint Sir David Hare
1976 - Present   Lives in London
2007   Paula Rego O Vinho, a series of eight lithographs, Marlborough Fine Art, 6 September – 6 October, and at Galeria Marlborough, Madrid (solo)
2007   Paula Rego Retrospective exhibition, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 25 September – 30 December. Travelling to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, 1 February – 25 May 2008 (solo)
2005 - 2007   Paula Rego Printmaker, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 5 August – 24 September; Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, 12 November – 22 January 2006; Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, 4 February – 7 May; University Gallery, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, 19 May – 30 June; Royal College of Art, London 9 – 15 October 2006; Paula Rego Graven Images, Waterhall Gallery of Modern Art, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 23 June – 7 October 2007 (solo)
2006   Paula Rego, Marlborough Fine Art, London, 11 October – 18 November (solo)
2006   The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, The Mall Galleries, London, March travelling to the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, April-May
2006   Drawing Inspiration, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, 4 April – 1 July, catalogue with introduction by Deanna Petherbridge
2006   Trazos Cercanos. Siete Pintores Portugueses, Centro Cultural Caixanova, Vigo, 30 March – 7 May; Centro Social Caixanova, Ourense, 11 May – 18 June
2005   The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, Pastel Society, Pall Mall, 2-13 March
2005   Only Make Believe, Compton Verney, Warwickshire, 23 March – 5 June
2005   O Nome Que No Peito Escrito Tinhas, Alcobaça Monastery, Portugal
2004   Five Painters from Portuguese Modernity (1911-1965), Amadeo de Souza-Cardosa, Almada Negreiros, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Joaquin Rodrigo & Paula Rego, La Pedrera, Fundaçao Caixa de Catalan, Barcelona, 17 February - 16 May.
2004   Paula Rego, Serralves Museum, Oporto, 15 October 2004-23 January 2005 (solo)
2004   Paula Rego in Focus, Tate Britain, 27 October 2004 – 2 January 2005 (solo)
2003   The Enduring Image, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, 12 February – 3 April
2003   La Fête, Le Bellevue, Biarritz, 26 June – 5 October; Museo Valenciano de la
2003   ARCO’03, Galeria 111, Madrid
2002   Jane Eyre, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (solo)
2002   100 Anos, 100 Artistas, S.N.B.A, Lisboa
2001   The School of London and their Friends – The Collection of Elaine and Melvian Merians Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase
2001   Celestina’s House, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal (solo)
2000   Paula Rego, da colecção Manuel de Brito, Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Fortaleza de São Tiago, Funchal (solo)
2000   Encounters: New Art from Old, National Gallery, Londres
1999   Five Portuguese Painters, Guinness Hopstore, Dublin
1999   O Crime do Padre Amaro e Untitled, Centro de Arte Moderna, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa (solo)
1998   Arte Portuguesa Anos 60/90, Galeria 111, Lisboa
1998   A Escola de Londres. De Bacon a Bevan, Fondation Dina Vierny, Musée Maillol, Paris
1997   Exposição Retrospectiva, Tate Gallery, Liverpool (solo)
1997   Exposição Retrospectiva, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisboa (solo)
1996   Marlborough Gallery, Nova Iorque (solo)
1996   David Hockney: Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm; Paula Rego: Nursery Rhymes, University Museum, Long Beach, California
1996   Spellbound: Art and Film, Hayward Gallery, Londres
1995   An American Passion-The Summer Collection of Contemporary British Painting, McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, Royal College of Art, Londres
1995   Nursery Rhymes and Peter Pan, Annandale Galleries, Sydney; Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne (solo)
1994   Dog Woman, Marlborough Fine Art, Londres, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, (solo)
1994   Colecção Manuel de Brito-Imagens de Arte Portuguesa do Século XX , Museu do Chiado, Lisboa
1993   Peter Pan, Galeria 111, Lisboa (solo)