The young stares off into the distance whilst holding her blue necklace. She wears a white dress of light material along with red sleeves and white plumes within that. Her hair is brown, thick and curly and she wears a small golden ribbon around her forehead which keeps her hair tidy. Waterhouse would normally put his models within classical, elegant clothing, though stop short of anything too glamorous. He saw these young maidens as innocent and pure, and not something that should be dressed up in an overly showy fashion. This decision seems to have been one of the secrets of his success, with many art followers in the present day appreciating his portraiture style and the settings in which he placed these young women. Waterhouse is now considered one of the most famous British artists from the late 19th century and his work is highly celebrated across the UK as well as in some parts of the US, where there remains still very much an interest in classical British art, with several institutions devoted to it.
This painting went to auction in 2014 and achieved a sale price of £962,500 which was significantly above the pre-sale estimate. The event featured many related artworks from other key British names and the overall sale was titled, Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art at Christie's in London. Waterhouse is known to have first exhibited this piece in 1898 alongside a number of larger, more complex artworks. He provided this variety many times because he felt that different sized canvases would work with different galleries and that overall it was the best way of keeping different groups of critics onside and ultimately selling more due to better reviews. Juliet herself was a popular topic that he knew he could use to his advantage within this particular painting. The modestly-sized canvas also allowed those with smaller budgets to become interested in his work and potentially acquire one, where as his more complex pieces would likely be out of their range of affordability.
John William Waterhouse rose to become a much loved artist, with a strong following within the UK. He was not the only notable artist from the UK during the 19th century, though, as the country started to provide some well trained and innovative painters who offered some alternative styles to the work being found elsewhere in Europe. Another of these important names and someone who worked in a style which is described as Neo-Classical, and is similar to some parts of Waterhouse's early paintings, before he started to draw inspiration from British poetry and worked in a slightly more contemporary style. Some of Godward's most significant works included The Bouquet, The Love Letter and Far Away Thoughts. He worked in a way which was slowly losing popularity at the time, but his technical brilliance is today truly understood and respected, where people can review his work without worrying about the context of that time.