Louise Bourgeois studied at several art schools in Paris: École du Louvre, Académie des Beaux-Arts, Académie Julian and Atelier Fernand Léger. Bourgeois moved to the US in 1938 and studied at the Art Students League in New York. Having previously worked with engraving and painting, in the late 1940s, she began working with sculpture. Bourgeois used a wide variety of materials in her sculptures, including glass, bronze, wood and rubber. Her sculptures can be viewed as a metaphor for human loneliness and vulnerability. Sexuality is often present in Bourgeois’ sculptures, and a strong symbolic connection exists between her work and her parents’ relationship. Bourgeois was heavily influenced by the European Surrealists who emigrated to the US after World War II.
Since ancient times, women have been the muse of many a great art work. In terms of being artists themselves, women remained marginalised until the early 19th century. Thanks to the opening of art schools, the assertion of egalitarianism and the emergence of an art market, women finally achieved the recognition they deserved. Here, Barnebys has put together a list of ten women who played a key role in the history of art.