The artist’s religiously inspired works, on show at the Cascais museum devoted to her, hand power to women. By Marina Watson Pelaez
It is one of classical art’s most familiar scenes: Angel Gabriel informing the Virgin Mary she is going to have a baby. In Paula Rego’s “Annunciation”, however, there are unsettling changes. Mary is no impassive innocent, but a vulnerable adolescent dressed in her school uniform, shocked at the revelation.
This is one of the pictures on display in Religious Art in the Feminine, an exhibition showing Rego’s religiously inspired works — alongside those of another Portuguese woman, 17th-century artist Josefa de Óbidos — at the Casa das Histórias (House of Stories), a museum dedicated to Rego in the seaside town of Cascais, outside Lisbon. Though the artists are connected in their unique representations of Christian heroines, the show is largely dedicated to Rego.
Image: Paula Rego, Annunciation, 2002
© Paula Rego