Ida Barbarigo was born into a family of artists, architects and sculptors. She transitioned away from architecture studies in order to study painting at the Academia di Belle Arti in Venice. Her work was influenced by many painters, including Giotto and Cimabue, as well as the art of early civilisations. Her restlessness and curiosity inspired her to travel, and in 1952, she moved to Paris. The skill of drawing was of great importance during her initial years of artistic activity. After an early figurative period that included painting and engraving, she formed a distinctive personal style with work that tended towards abstraction.