arts and design

Letter: Dame Paula Rego obituary

Paula Rego was charming and modest, and liked to make naughty jokes. At her private views she would remark sotto voce about the sexual implications of the painting or print in front of us.

On one occasion she showed me and my wife around her studio, which was a bit like a theatre workshop, with racks of costumes and the weird array of stuffed animals, dolls and grotesque humans. Her current painting was on its easel, with the stage set of her creatures placed out in front. In her studio the impression she gave was of seriousness and mastery.

In 2008 I was delighted to persuade the minor planets committee of the International Astronomical Union to name an asteroid after her. It lies on the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and was discovered in 1991 at the Mount Palomar Observatory in California.


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