Averil Burleigh specialised in tempera painting and her work is characterised by a bright palette underpinned with a bold sense of graphic design. Her compositions are usually dominated by female figures – often in various states of revelry. Her daughter, the artist Veronica Burleigh (1909–1999), posed as the central model in this work, as she did for many of Averil’s works. As Veronica’s delicate features, almond-shaped eyes and high cheekbones reveal modern influences at work, Burleigh often added further touches of modernity to her Renaissance or Medieval subjects through the inclusion of contemporary clothing.
This painting was previously referred to with the title, As you Like It, but does not correspond to any scene in Shakespeare’s play. Instead, the picture calls to mind the work of Aubrey Beardsley, who like Burleigh was able to imbue historic scenes with a sense of humour and freshness.
The picture comes in its original James Bourlet sixteenth-century style black and gold frame