The poses of the characters give an insight into ideas about theatrical presentation in the 18th century.
For the artist the aim was to capture true emotions, to summarise the importance of the moment when Juliet is believed to be dead. The various outpourings of emotion were appreciated as part of the Truth that was the goal of History Painters.
The original oil painting was included in the exhibition at the SHAKESPEARE GALLERY, presented in its own new building at 52 Pall Mall, London. Boydell included work by many of the prominent artists of the time, including Opie. The paintings themselves were on a large scale and presented a remarkable attraction in the age before cinema and photography. The gallery enjoyed considerable success for a time. Part of the financial success depended on the sale of prints such as this of Romeo And Juliet. This print was published in 1791. The Facius brothers engraved numerous prints for the collection.
The print was puboished in the Boydell Shakespeare and was subsequently published elsewhere on a smaller sale.