Paula Rego was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1935. As a teenager, she came to England and went on to study art at the Slade School in London. Much of her work comes from her childhood memories from Lisbon and her Portuguese roots. Throughout her career, Rego has consistently used paint and printmaking techniques, as well as collage, with drawing as the foundation of her practice.
From 1996 to 1998, Rego produced a series of hand-colored etchings and aquatints called “The Children’s Crusade”, which followed her earlier series of illustrative etchings, “Nursery Rhymes” and “Peter Pan” and the “Pendle Witch” series based on Blake Morrisson’s poems. Her etchings are considered to be an integral part of her oeuvre, bridging the gap between her pencil drawings and her pastel paintings. Rego’s works frequently feature muscular, stocky bodies and small domestic details.