This drawing is a study for the artist's oil painting of the subject executed in 1871 and considered to be her best work. It was exhibited the same year at the Dudley Gallery in the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly. Lucy Madox Brown began exhibiting at the Dudley Gallery in 1868 and showed most of her work there, only exhibiting one picture at the Royal Academy, The Duet in 1870. It is recorded that Dante Gabriel Rossetti thought Romeo and Juliet was 'a really perfect picture'. It was purchased by Mr Wilson of Ambleside for £105. The models for Romeo and Juliet were Lucy Madox Brown's half brother and sister Cathy and Oliver. The painting is on loan at Wightwick Manor, near Wolverhampton (National Trust).
Lucy Madox Brown married William Michael Rossetti, the brother of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in 1874.