This title was first published in 2003. The artist Paula Rego was born in Portugal but has lived in Britain since 1951. In this well-illustrated book, Maria Manuel Lisboa explores the background behind Rego's decision to leave the land of her birth and, in doing so, provides fascinating insights into Rego's persistent portrayal of uneasy and predatory relations between men and women. Looking back over the national, religious and sexual politics of Portugal during Rego's childhood under the shadow of the Salazar dictatorship and subsequently, Lisboa locates the origins of the artist's preoccupation with power and powerlessness, violence and abuse within the political and ideological status quo of Portugal, past and present. Lisboa's clear and thoughtful analysis offers an ambitious contribution to the study of patriarchy, Catholicism and Fascism and their expression in the work of this artist.
Maria Manuel Lisboa is senior lecturer in Portuguese, Brazilian and African Lusophone literature at Cambridge University and is a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. She is the author of two books on Portuguese and Brazilian authors and of articles on themes of gender, nationality and origin in nineteenth and twentieth-century Portuguese and Brazilian literature.