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Paula Rego, 1935–2022

The Baker’s Wife1989

In ‘The Baker’s Wife’ Paula Rego, a Portuguese painter who now works in London, draws on the tradition of children’s storybook illustration – for example in this print the changes of scale are reminiscent of that of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. Rego uses a variety of tones to further intensify the dream-like quality of the works and the dark shadows add a new and terrifying dimension to the familiar nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes which are traditionally for children are given a very grown-up imagery that borders on unpleasantness, particularly in this etching.

MediumEtching and aquatint on hand-made paper
Dimensions Unframed, 33.5 x 26.3 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1997
EditionEdition 14/75
Item NumberIMMA.502
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Paula Rego, The Baker’s Wife, 1989, Etching and aquatint on hand-made paper, Unframed, 33.5 x 26.3 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1997

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Paula Rego 1935–2022

Born in Portugal in 1935, Paula Rego trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Her work is highly figurative, and often relates specifically to folk tales, fairy tales, children’s literature and nursery rhymes. Rego lives and works in London and has exhibited widely in Britain and internationally. Since 2004, major retrospectives of her work have been held at Tate Britain, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.
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