Paula Rego

Swallows the Poisoned Apple

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Snow White Playing with her Father's Trophies
Paula Rego
Swallows the Poisoned Apple
1995
Pastel on paper, mounted on aluminium
178 x 150 cm

In Swallows The Poison Apple, Paula Rego revises the tale of Snow White to expose the fallible value of youth. Dressed in traditional Disney garb, this Snow White isn’t a beautiful princess, but a middle-aged woman. Pictured moments after eating the poison apple, she lays sprawled amidst overturned furniture, suggesting painful and violent demise. Clutching her skirts, she alludes to her sexual nature, as if clinging to something slipping away. Her body lies between a blanket adorned with spring blossoms, and a sinister backdrop of red and black. Rego illustrates the conflict of reality encroaching on the socially imposed myths of female worth, construing aging as both a physical and psychological violation.


     
 


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