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Life in Portugal during the war

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The Scottie dog that committed suicide
Paula Rego Artist
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I remember moving in there. We had... in the old house, we had a nice gardener and they... to cheer me up and to give me... make me more normal, they bought me a Scottie dog. This Scottie dog was a breed... a real high-breed dog and it had... it had tendencies to throw itself off from the balcony. And when I... when this dog was brought to my house I was so frightened. It was a tiny little thing. I remember clambering up onto the settee, you know, a sofa, and running away from it and... and the little thing was so little and cute, and ’Oh, why are you so afraid of this...’ but I was terrified of this creature. And it turned out he was always being stolen because he was... for money, ransom money, because he had a pedigree. And he finally did commit suicide. He threw himself from the... from the balcony on the first floor and poink, died, the degenerate dog. And... and he was buried and so what. Anyway, so then we moved to the new house and then that was a quite a different feeling.

Portuguese painter Paula Rego, became part of the London Group in 1965, was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989 and became the first Associate Artist of the National Gallery in London in 1990. Her work is strongly influenced by folk and fairy tales, especially those of her homeland.

Listeners: Catherine Lampert

Catherine Lampert is an independent curator, art historian and Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts. She was director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1988-2001) and has been a model for Frank Auerbach since 1978. Her recent projects include exhibitions of Rodin (Royal Academy 2006) and Lucian Freud (Dublin, Denmark and The Hague 2007-2008) as well as a book on Francis Alys (Turner Libros) and a catalogue raisonné of Euan Uglow's paintings (Yale University Press 2007).

Duration: 1 minute, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2007

Date story went live: 17 July 2008