Portuguese born painter who later adopted British nationality. Between 1952 and 1956, she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. From 1957 to 1963, she lived in Portugal and, until 1975, divided her time between this country and England. She was first acclaimed by the Portuguese public through her semi-abstract paintings which, at times, included collages of elements taken from her own drawings. Her influences include works by Dubuffet, Picasso, Walt Disney, Gilray and illustrations by caricaturists seen in magazines. In 1976, she went to London and, at the end of the decade, set aside her collage work to concentrate largely on acrylic drawings on paper. Using an essentially graphic style reminiscent of comic strip stories, Paula Rego has continued to produce figurative works that are more spontaneous narratives than illustrations for literary texts. Her characters normally take the form of animals for the satirical effect the artist wants. In 1986, she concentrated on a more naturalistic idiom with strongly modelled figures and a consistent light source. These representations of human dramas with a powerfully psychological charge, essentially based on childhood memories, have given her a significant place in 20th century art. In 1989, her largest painting at that time was bought by the Tate Gallery in London.