Louise Bourgeois was a French-American artist best known for her large sculptural works, and also a prolific draughtsperson and printmaker. She made prints during her career in the 1930s and 40s, followed by a period of intense sculptural investigation, returning to printmaking in her later career in the 1980s until the time of her death. A complete archive of her printed work was donated to the Museum of Modern Art, NY. The museum created a catalogue raisonné entitled The Complete Prints and Books.


Included in the catalogue raisonné is the puritan (pictured). From In 1990 Bourgeois published an illustrated book titled the puritan, pairing a text she had written in 1947 with a new series of eight prints, all with handpainted gouache additions. The text of the puritan is an enigmatic parable of lost love set in New York City. Bourgeois described the ordered geometry of the images as a tool of objective understanding: "With the puritan I analyzed an episode forty years after it happened. I could see things from a distance … I put it on a grid." The text may have biographical implications; Bourgeois had referred to her friend Alfred H. Barr, Jr., the founding director of The Museum of Modern Art, as a "puritan."