Recent acquisitions, Visitation and The Death of the Virgin, from the Virgin Mary series, 2002 by Dame Paula Rego go on display at National Museum Cardiff. In 2002, Rego was commissioned to make a series for the chapel of the Palácio de Belém in Lisbon, Portugal, the city where she was born. The Virgin Mary series comprises twelve images, eight of which were installed in the chapel and the remaining four became part of her personal collection. The two works, acquired by the Derek Williams Trust in 2020 were purchased from the artist’s collection.
These powerful works on paper by Rego, explore the visceral human side to the Virgin Mary, forcing the viewer to confront Mary as a person and not as the sometimes distant holy figure we have come to know through traditional representations.
Paula Rego is one of Europe’s most important figurative artists. She uses powerful, often surreal imagery to explore subjects such as war, oppression and sexuality through the lens of female experience. As a result she is recognised as a pioneer in the world of feminist art.
These two works from the Derek Williams Trust collection will be on show at National Museum Cardiff from 2 September 2021.
Image © Paula Rego