Dame Paula Rego RA (1935–2022) was a British-Portuguese artist whose large-scale figurative paintings explored human relationships and the experience of women through compelling, often subversive compositions. Inspired by the predella panel of Carlo Crivelli’s altarpiece La Madonna della Rondine (after 1490), Rego produced Crivelli’s Garden in 1990−91 while she was artist in residence at the National Gallery. This monumental triptych reimagined the site of Crivelli’s panel as a radical space populated by female figures from myth, folklore, and the Bible, alongside animals drawn from Aesop’s fables and other classical texts. Literature was a major influence on Rego’s practice throughout her career: this publication in turn celebrates the far-reaching influence of Rego’s paintings with an original short story by Mexican novelist Chloe Aridjis, inspired by Rego’s triptych. Illustrated with previously unpublished preparatory drawings and newly photographed details of the painting, the book also features an art historical essay on the work.
Published by National Gallery Global/Distributed by Yale University Press
The National Gallery, London;
(July 20–October 29, 2023)