EU shipping is temporarily suspended

Paula Rego

The Art of Story

Deryn Rees-Jones, Marina Warner


The most up-to-date monograph on Paula Rego, one of the most important figurative artists of her generation

See Inside


Paula Rego is an artist of astonishing power with a unique and unforgettable aesthetic. Taking its cues from the artist, this fascinating study invites us to reflect on the complexities of storytelling on which Rego’s work draws, emphasizing both the stories the pictures tell, and how it is that they are told.

Deryn Rees-Jones sets interpretations of the pictures in the context of Rego’s personal and artistic development across sixty years. We see how Rego’s art intersects with the work of both the literary and the visual, and come to understand her rich and textured layering of reference: her use of the Old Masters; fiction, fairy tales and poems; the folk traditions of Rego’s native Portugal; and her wider engagement with politics, feminism and more. The result is a highly original work that addresses urgent and topical questions of gender, subject and object, self and other.

Read More


'A splendidly illustrated study of a great living artist'
Spectator, Martin Gayford’s Books of the Year

'The year’s finest monograph about a female artist… rooted in an often savagely playful brand of storytelling, Rego’s pictures owe as much to literature and folktales as they do to the work of other painters, and Rhys Jones delicately unpacks their mysteries'

'A particularly solid study of the artist’s work and a very refined art book ... [a] remarkable contribution to the study of Rego’s painting ... a rich narrative that combines an overview of Rego’s artistic trajectory with an in-depth analysis of numerous paintings ... an important monograph that will become a significant reference on the work of Paula Rego'
Woman's Art Journal

Read More

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback in slipcase

Size: 30.8 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 376 pp

Publication date: 17 October 2019

ISBN: 9780500021378

Contents List

Foreword by Marina Warner • 1. Configurations (1951–1980) • 2. Monkeys, Rabbits, Girls and Dogs (1981–1987) • 3. The Story and the Secret (1987–1994) • 4. Animations (1995–1998) • 5. Theatres of Memory (1999–2005) • 6. Metamorphosis (2006–2018)

About the Author

Deryn Rees-Jones is a writer and academic, whose poetry has received numerous critical accolades, including shortlisting for the T. S. Eliot and Roland Matthias Prizes. A professor at the University of Liverpool, she co-directs the university’s Centre for New and International Writing. She is editor of the Pavilion Poetry series, and a co-editor of the journal Women: A Cultural Review.

Marina Warner’s study of the Arabian Nights, Stranger Magic (2011) won the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2013; in 2015 she was awarded the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities and was made DBE. She is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, a Fellow of the British Academy and President of the Royal Society of Literature.