Dame Paula Rego RA (1935 - 2022)

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Dame Paula Rego (b. 1935) was one of Europe’s most influential contemporary figurative artists. A painter of “stories”, her characters enact a variety of roles and depict disquieting tensions below the surface. Her large pastel paintings and sharply drawn etchings are psychologically charged depictions of human dramas and narratives.

Rego studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1952–56), and received honorary doctorates from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, the University of East Anglia, Norwich, the Rhode Island School of Design, USA, The London Institute, Roehampton University, London, and Oxford University. In 2010 she was created a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in The Queen’s Birthday Honours, and won the Mapfre Foundation Drawing Prize, Madrid (2010).

Notable exhibitions include: CalousteGulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (1988); Serpentine Gallery, London (1988); Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (1997); Dulwich Picture Gallery, London (1998); Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (2001); Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (2004); Tate Britain, London (2005); MuseoNacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2007); National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (2008); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010); Tate Britain, London, (2021).


Royal Academician


Born: 26 January 1935 in Lisbon, Portugal

Died: 8 June 2022

Nationality: British

Elected RA: 7 December 2016

Elected Senior RA: 7 December 2016

Gender: Female

Preferred media: Painting, Printmaking, Etching, Aquatint engraving, and Book illustration

Works by Dame Paula Rego in the RA Collection

4 results

Associated books

6 results