Paula Rego was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1935 and has traveled between London and Portugal throughout her life. She studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and her career as an artist spans half a century.
Working from literature, myths, fairy tales, cartoons and religious texts, Rego creates narrative works imbued with mystery. She is drawn to subjects that are well known and well resolved, and takes her imagery from sources as varied as Peter Pan and Mary Magdalene. Her first experiments with printmaking were tentative, but as she discovered the various techniques open to her, her work became liberated and extremely powerful. She commented, "I turn to etching, and lithography, with a sense of exuberance and relief. In printmaking you can give your imagination full-range and see the results almost immediately. So one image triggers the idea for the next one and so on." Rego currently lives and works in London, and is considered one of the leading figurative artists of the day.
Rego's work is part of many public collections including the Arts Council, London, England; Berardo Collection, Lisbon, Portugal; Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna, Sintra, Portugal; British Museum, London, England; Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal; Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, England; National Gallery, London, England; National Portrait Gallery, London, England; Portuguese Embassy, London, England; Tate Gallery, Liverpool, England; and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England.