Paula Rego has always identified with the least, not the mighty, taken the child’s eye view, and counted herself among the commonplace and the disregarded, by the side of the beast, not the beauty… Her sympathy with naiveté, her love of its double character, its weakness and its force, has led her to Nursery Rhymes as a new source for her imagery.
Paula Rego was born in Lisbon in 1935 and attended the Slade School of Art in London between 1952–56 where she met her husband, the painter Victor Willing. In 1957 she returned to live in Portugal with her three children, living between London and Portugal for a few years before finally settling in London in 1976. Both her family life and her experience of living in England and Portugal have had a profound effect of her work, drawing on personal experience to inform her practice which includes work made in collage, painting, pastel, etchings, lithographs and sculptural installations.
In 1989 Rego embarked on her first major sustained printmaking project, The Nursery Rhymes for which, over a period of three to four months, she produced over 30 etchings and aquatints.This series of prints have achieved both critical acclaim and widespread popularity, rare for contemporary print.