Paula Rego

About Artist: Rego was born on 26 January 1935 in Lisbon, Portugal.Her father was an electrical engineer who worked for the Marconi Company.Rego’s style has evolved from abstract towards representational, and she has favoured pastels over oils for much of her career. Her work often reflects feminism, coloured by folk-themes from her native Portugal. Rego studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and was an exhibiting member of the London Group with David Hockney and Frank Auerbach.Although this gave her a comfortable middle class home, the family was divided in 1936 when her father was posted to work in the United Kingdom. Accompanied by Rego's mother, they left Rego behind in Portugal in the care of her grandmother until 1939. Her grandmother was to become a significant figure in Rego's life as she learnt many of the traditional folktales that would one day make their way into her art work from her grandmother and the family maid. Rego's family were keen Anglophiles, and Rego was sent to the only English language school in Portugal at the time, Saint Julian's School in Carcavelos from 1945 to 1951.[5] Although nominally a Catholic and living in a devoutly Catholic country, St Julian's School was Anglican and this combined with the hostility of Rego's father for the Catholic Church to create a distance between her and full blooded Catholic belief. Rego has described herself as having become a "sort of Catholic," but equally she possessed as a child a sense of Catholic guilt and a very real belief that the Devil is real. In 1951, Rego was sent to the United Kingdom to attend a finishing school called The Grove School, in Sevenoaks, Kent. Unhappy here, Rego attempted in 1952 to start studies in art at the Chelsea School of Art in London, but this was thwarted by her legal guardian in Britain, David Phillips, who feared her parents might not approve of their daughter mixing with art students. Returning to Portugal for the holidays that summer Rego discovered quite the opposite was true, and so she applied to study art in London again, this time at the Slade School of Fine Art. She attended the Slade School of Fine Art from 1952 to 1956.

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