National Gallery does Paula Rego’s Crivelli’s Garden

People gathered around front door of National Gallery Trafalgar Square

The National Gallery in London is set to showcase an upcoming exhibition that pays tribute to the works of the late Dame Paula Rego. Titled “Crivelli’s Garden,” the exhibition centers around Rego’s public commission of the same name, which was created for the Sainsbury Wing Dining Room in 1990. The exhibition will unite the massive artwork with the 15th-century altarpiece by Carlo Crivelli that inspired it. Rego’s life studies of National Gallery colleagues that feature in the final painting will also be on display.

The monumental 10-metre-long painting reimagines the narratives of powerful women, including female saints and mythological women, surrounded by a maze-like Portuguese garden. Rego was inspired by depictions of women she encountered in the National Gallery Collection, and also used models that included friends, family members, and Gallery staff for her work.

The exhibition will delve into the layers and storylines that Rego incorporated into the artwork, exploring both the art historical references and personal touches she included. “Crivelli’s Garden” was an innovative work for Rego, signaling a new direction for her career, and exploring the representation of women in paintings, as well as their role in society and religion.

Despite the challenges posed by her residency, Rego approached her work with boundless energy, and much of the work presented in the exhibition is a testament to her determination and spirit. Though she was invited to produce new artworks inspired by the collection during her residency, the murals she created in that period have remained some of her most celebrated works to date.

The National Gallery’s tribute to Paula Rego, through “Crivelli’s Garden,” is a fitting commemoration of the artist’s groundbreaking work, and a reminder of the lasting impact that she has had on the world of art. The exhibition promises to be a fascinating exploration of Rego’s world, and a celebration of the stories and women that inspired her work.

Cravelis Garden art