26 – Paula Rego
Paula Rego is a Portuguese painter, born in 1935. Encouraged by her father to pursue her artistic development outside the 1950s Salazar country, she went to London, where she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, until 1956.
With the result of the first referendum on the legalization of abortion, in Portugal in 1997, the artist painted a triptych showing her displeasure. Developed her work “Aborto” between the years 1997 and 1999. For the time, painting this sort of situations was considered a bold attitude. This work portrays the conditions in which women performed abortion in clanestinity. It also aimed to generate shock and open the discussion of the topic again in the Portuguese press. She was then, the first artist to paint an abortion for the first time in a work of art. The approval of the abortion legislation proceeded in 2007.