Paula Rego: most famous painting as an artist dies at the age of 87

 <p>Dame Paula Rego after being made Dame Commander at an inauguration ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on October 20, 2010. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images)</p> <p>” src=”” srcset=”https://www 320w, 06/08/14/newFile-1.jpg?quality=65&smart&width=640 640w, =65&smart&width=990 990w” data-hero=”” fetchpriority=”high”/></figure><figcaption class=

Dame Paula Rego after being made Dame Commander at an inauguration ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on October 20, 2010. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Acclaimed artist Dame Paula Rego has died aged 87 after a “brief illness,” according to a statement from art gallery Victoria Miro.

Rego was the first artist-in-residence at the National Gallery in London and was inducted as a lady on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List in 2010.

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Who was Paula Rego?

Paul Rego was a Portuguese visual artist born in Lisbon on January 26, 1935.

As a child, from 1945 to 1951, she attended what was then the only English-speaking school in the Lisbon district, Saint Julian’s School in Carcavelos. In 1951 Rego traveled to Britain to attend The Grove in Kent, a finishing school.

Dissatisfied with finishing school, Rego instead enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art to pursue her artistic passions, where she remained from 1952 to 1956. It was here that her talent for art was first discovered.

Artist Paula Rego poses with the Visual Arts award at the South Bank Show Awards at The Savoy in London January 27, 2005 (Photo by Claire Greenway/Getty Images)

While at Slade, she began a relationship with fellow student Victor Willing, who at the time was already married to another artist named Hazel Whittington. Rego returned to Portugal in 1957 to give birth to her and Willing’s first child. Willing then joined Rego and the two were married in 1959 after he divorced Whittington.

Rego and Willing had three children in total – daughters Caroline and Victoria and son Nick, a filmmaker who made a film about his mother for the BBC in 2017 Paula Rego, Secrets & Stories.

Rego and her family moved to London permanently in 1976, where they remained until Willing’s death in 1988. He died after a long illness, having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1966.

Before Willing’s death, Rego hired Lila Nunes, a Portuguese, to look after him. Nunes also became Rego’s model and remained so for 35 years.

Paula Rego described herself as a feminist artist (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

In conversation with the telegraphRego said that she made a series of paintings of girls and dogs in response to Willing’s illness.

She said: “All of them are about Vic.”

In one painting a girl holds a razor and prepares to shave the animal, and in another she forces the animal’s mouth open to feed it.

Rego said: “You have to hurt the dog to give him his medicine. There is often violence when trying to help people.”

What were your most famous paintings?

Her career as an artist effectively began in 1962 when she began exhibiting her work with the London Group. In 1965 she was selected to take part in a group exhibition entitled Six artistsat the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and in the same year she had her first solo exhibition in Lisbon.

In a career spanning more than five decades, Rego has created magical images based on her childhood memories and fairy tales, and her work has sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

They have been in the collections of famous names such as Charles Saatchi and Madonna.

Visitors attend as Tate Britain opens Britain’s largest retrospective dedicated to Portuguese visual artist Paula Rego on July 5, 2021 in London, England (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

The artist first came to prominence in Portugal with semi-abstract works that dealt with violent or political themes.

Her later plays drew on the folk tales of her homeland and popular children’s fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, but she also used her own real and imaginary experiences of her upbringing of pretty little girls, maids and grandmothers, but with a sexual or violent subtext.

She was considered one of the most notable figurative artists of her generation, with her work ranging from painting, pastel and prints to sculptural installations.

Rego described herself as a feminist artist credited with revolutionizing the depiction of women with themes such as sex trafficking and honor killings providing material for her pieces.

Paula Rego died at her home after a ‘brief illness’ (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Notable among their works are they dog woman Pastel drawings depicting women in a series of dog poses and her 1995 portrait of Germaine Greer which was on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Another of her other notable works are Untitled: The Abortion Pastelsa series of 10 pastels created in response to the 1998 Portuguese referendum on abortion, which aimed to document the horrors of illegal abortions.

Most recently, her exhibitions included 2022 solo exhibitions such as mysteries of faithheld at Victoria Miro in Italy, subversive story at Arnolfini in Bristol and Literary Inspirations at the Petersfield Museum in Petersfield and group shows such as women paint women at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, figuration at the Marlborough Gallery in London and breakthrough women in the Arken Museum in Denmark.

When did she die?

Rego died on Wednesday morning (June 8), her death was announced in a statement released by the Victoria Miro art gallery.

It said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Portuguese-born British artist Dame Paula Rego at the age of 87.

“She died peacefully at home in north London this morning, surrounded by her family, after a short illness.

“Our sincere thoughts are with their children, Nick, Cas and Victoria Willing, as well as their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” Paula Rego: most famous painting as an artist dies at the age of 87


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