Rego’s Girls

Paula Rego: The Bride, acrylic on canvas, 87 3/4 by 79 7/8 inches.

A retrospective of Paula Rego’s paintings was held at the Fun­dacião Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, and the Casa de Serralves, Porto, before coming to the Serpentine Gallery, London, where a considerable number of new paintings were added. The exhibition revealed Rego to be a far more substantial artist than had previously been realized. Born in Portugal in 1935, Rego trained at the Slade School in London and married Victor Willing, a fellow student. Having for many years divided her time between England and Portugal, she now lives in London.

The spacious rooms of the Serpentine Gallery provoked Rego to work on a much larger and more declamatory scale than usual, making public statements rather than domestic observations in a series of new pictures that have the poise and solemnity of history paintings.

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