Germaine Greer

© National Portrait Gallery, London. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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This portrait is one of the most successful – and popular – of the National Portrait Gallery's commissions. Although Paula Rego does not normally accept commissions, she agreed to paint Germaine Greer, the most public advocate of feminism and author of 'The Female Eunuch'. This was partly because Greer had been a long-standing supporter of Rego's work, having written an introductory essay to a catalogue of her paintings when she was artist-in-residence at The National Gallery. Arrangements were made for sittings to take place at Rego's studio in Camden Town during the hot August of 1995. Greer was wearing her favourite Jean Muir dress and old, gold shoes and her hands were rough from gardening. In all, they had 30 hours of sittings and listened to the entire Ring cycle.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Germaine Greer




pastel on paper laid on aluminium


H 120 x W 111.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned, 1995

Work type



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