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Women Artists in Europe

Portrait of Madame Du Barry, 1781, by Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

For centuries, women artists in Europe navigated a culture that granted them little access to formal artistic training and few opportunities to pursue professions outside the home. While the situation improved somewhat in the late 1800s as artistic academies began to admit more women, they still faced greater barriers to professional success than their male peers and continue to be underrepresented in museum collections today. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is committed to acquiring and preserving works by women artists, as represented in this selection.