Paula Rego - Contemporary Artists

The Family

The Family The Saatchi Gallery

Paula Rego

The Family

1988, Acrylic on canvas backed paper

213 x 213 cm

In The Family the absent father and husband returns to the picture plane, only to be manhandled by his daughter and his wife. As usual, the narrative clues are ambiguous, and the story could have several endings. Are the women helping the man or hurting him? Who is the little girl at the window? Do the clues perhaps lie in the Portuguese retablo featuring St. Joan, and St George slaying the dragon? Or in the fable of the stork and the fox illustrated beneath? Is the man as doomed as the dragon, or will he in fact resurface like the fox, to eat the stork, once it has removed the bone lodged in his throat?
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