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Book/Printed Material Essays on Paula Rego : Smile When You Think about Hell

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  • Essays on Paula Rego : Smile When You Think about Hell


  • In these powerful and stylishly written essays, Maria Manuel Lisboa dissects the work of Paula Rego, the Portuguese-born artist considered one of the greatest artists of modern times. Focusing primarily on Rego's work since the 1980s, Lisboa explores the complex relationships between violence and nurturing, power and impotence, politics and the family that run through Rego's art. Taking a historicist approach to the evolution of the artist's work, Lisboa embeds the works within Rego's personal history as well as Portugal's (and indeed other nations') stories, and reveals the interrelationship between political significance and the raw emotion that lies at the heart of Rego's uncompromising iconographic style. Fundamental to Lisboa's analysis is an understanding that apparent opposites - male and female, sacred and profane, aggression and submissiveness - often co-exist in Rego's work in a way that is both disturbing and destabilising. This collection of essays brings together both unpublished and previously published work to make a significant contribution to scholarship about Paula Rego. It will also be of interest to scholars and students of contemporary painting, Portuguese and British feminist art, and the political and ideological aspects of the visual arts.


  • Lisboa, Maria Manuel, 1963- author
  • Open Book Publishers, publisher

Created / Published

  • Cambridge, UK : Open Book Publishers, 2019.


  • Intro; Contents; Acknowledgments; A Note on Images; Prologue: A Patriot for Me; Pre-Figuring the Motherland; The Things that Define Us; From Practice to Theory; 1. Past History and Deaths Foretold: A Map of Memory; Ideal Homes; A Home is Not a Home Without a Pet; A Dog's Life; 2. (He)Art History or a Death in the Family: The Late 80s; Families and Other Animals; So Sorry For Your Loss; 3. The Sins of the Fathers: Mother and Land Revisited in the 1990s; Burning Books; A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words; All at Sea; 4. An Interesting Condition: The Abortion Pastels; Christmas by Any Other Name
  • Infallible FallaciesLife, Death and Russian Roulette; Look at Me Enjoying Myself; The Image as Problem Child; Watching Him Watching Her: Everything Depends on the Eye of the Beholder; A Target of Indifference; Child Brides; The Mother's Dilemma; The Counter-Purification of Categories; The Wages of Sin; 5. Brave New Worlds: The Birthing of Nations in First Mass in Brazil; Unexpected Visitors; Little Strangers; Goodbye and Thanks for All the Fish; 6. I Am Coming to Your Kingdom, Prince Horrendous: Scary Stories for Baby, Perfect Stranger and Me; It's Fantastic; Prince? Frog? Or Worse?
  • Size Does Matter: Angry Jane, Gothic BerthaDearest Satan: The Lady with a Cloven Hoof; Lady, May I Kiss Your Hand? Inês de Castro; 7. Paula and the Madonna: Who's That Girl?; (Un)Like a Virgin; Just a Girl; Where's God Gone?; Is He Dead or Just Resting?; His Mother's Little Boy; A Mother's Work Is Never Done; Making His Mother Cry; Where Is She Going Now?; 8. Epilogue Let Me Count the Ways I Love You; Appendix AA Dama Pé de Cabra (The Lady with a Cloven Hoof); First Canticle; Second Canticle; Third Canticle; Appendix B'Fascinação' ('Enchantment'); Works Cited; List of Illustrations
  • Sweet Dreams, Scary Nightmares: Fairy Tales and Nursery RhymesWhy Are You Glaring at Me?; In Theory Anyone Can Be a Fairy; Freud & Daughters: A Family Concern; Revolution in the Nursery; Women Telling Tales; Stay by my Cradle till Morning is Nigh: The Nursery Rhymes; What's It All About?; Black Sheep, Strange Creatures and Dangerous Rogues; One Elizabeth, Two Marys and Assorted Royals; Beautiful Princesses, Evil Stepmothers and Wicked Witches: Who is Dead Now?; Women Against the Canon: Who is Cannon Fodder Now?; Bad Wolves, Beastly Beasts and Bluebeard: They Had it Coming, M'Lud


  • -  Rego, Paula--Criticism and interpretation
  • -  Feminism in art


  • Electronic books


  • -  Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • -  Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (Open Book Publishers website ; viewed on 2020-03-24)


  • 1 online resource (xi, 459 pages) : illustrations

Call Number/Physical Location

  • N7133.R44

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019452856

Rights Advisory

Access Advisory

  • Unrestricted online access

Online Format

  • image
  • pdf

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Rights & Access

The books in this collection are licensed under open access licenses allowing for the reuse and distribution of each book following the terms described in each license. Researchers should consult the Rights Advisory statement for each title and the accompanying license details for information about rights and permissions associated with each of the licenses.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Lisboa, Maria Manuel, Author, and Publisher Open Book Publishers. Essays on Paula Rego: Smile When You Think about Hell. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2019. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Lisboa, M. M. & Open Book Publishers, P. (2019) Essays on Paula Rego: Smile When You Think about Hell. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Lisboa, Maria Manuel, Author, and Publisher Open Book Publishers. Essays on Paula Rego: Smile When You Think about Hell. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2019. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.