Briggs was one of a small group of British artists in the first half of the nineteenth century who consistently found success as history painters. This painting illustrates part of Act II Scene IV from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The lovers have previously agreed upon a secret marriage. Here the Nurse tells the overjoyed Juliet that she is to be married that night and then comments on her blushes ('Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks'). Juliet and her Nurse was a popular subject with British artists including JMW Turner.
Gallery label, September 2004
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