Paula Rego (1935) – O Vinho prints


A selection of prints from Paula Rego’s 2007 O Vinho series of lithographs (pasted into my sketchbook)

A quick post to say how nice it is when you stumble across interesting art in unexpected places. In August we enjoyed a lovely Sunday lunch at the Gunton Arms in Norfolk. It’s a rather upmarket pub in a deer park, not far from Cromer. The owners are art collectors and there’s a fascinating and ever changing contemporary art collection on display.

I found myself gazing at some prints from Paulo Rego’s O Vinho series (2007). Very appropriate for a pub and very timely for me as I was starting to think about Assignment Four. These  ‘Hogarthian’ drawings have red wine as the connecting theme. Red wine being fed from the bottle to a baby, a bottle of red wine being cuddled while barely noticing the baby at play, red wine being vomited down the toilet and splashing all over (like blood?), baby falling out of high chair while the adult women are drunk on red wine…

These lithographs are essentially line drawings with colour tints. I was interested in both the subject matter and the technique; how the skin was always kept white in contrast to the coloured clothing, the bold use of the line, the fairly minimal use of tone.

We had a few glasses of red wine over lunch but managed to leave without bringing shame upon ourselves or the establishment!

Later at home I looked up the O Vinho series and pasted some images into my sketchbook. The series is inspired by the Portuguese novelist João de Milo’s short story Wine is not a diversion but a reengagement with life – an exploration into the “unique and delicious secrets of wine”!

Paula Rego biography (The Tate)

Gunton Arms, Norfolk
Marlborough Fine Art


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