Romeo and Juliet
at Modern British and Irish Art Sale

A dramatic portrayal of the climax to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (The Last Act), by the Irish artist Jack Butler Yeats is one of the highlights of Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art Sale in London on Wednesday 12 June. It is estimated at £80,000-120,000.

Painted in 1927, the much-exhibited work depicts the famous ending to the play in the Capulet family mausoleum. Waking from a drugged coma, Juliet finds the lifeless body of Romeo, who had committed suicide believing his wife to be dead. Stricken with grief, Juliet takes her own life. Yeats shows the bodies of the star-crossed lovers slumped at the foot of the tomb. It is not known whether the artist imagined the scene, or based it on a production of the play that he had attended.

Bonhams Director of Modern British and Irish Art Penny Day said, "With Valentine's Day fast approaching there could not be a better time to announce the sale of Jack Yeats' magical depiction of the world's two most famous fictional lovers. The painting wonderfully captures the atmosphere in the theatre as the play reaches its tragic conclusion."

The sale also includes Romeo and Juliet (After Adelaide Claxton) by Walter Sickert. It is estimated at £15,000-20,000.


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