Search The Archive

Search the film archive

“Sex, lies and draughtsmanship.” - Guardian

Still one of Greenaway's best films to date, The Draughtsman's Contract (MIFF 83) delves into the twisted hedonism and rhetoric of 17th century aristocrats, as the wife of the wealthy and cantankerous Mr Herbert commissions a draughtsman to draw 12 pictures of their property in return for payment, board - and a daily dalliance.

Wry, hilarious and with a thread of underlying viciousness, The Draughtsman's Contract is a stylised portrait of lust, art and murder. Its cunning dialogue, lavish art direction and Michael Nyman's intense neo-baroque, Purcell-inspired music create an experience of considerable style and opulence. Steeped in a 17th-century aesthetic, Greenaway's classic features lush visuals derived from the works of Caravaggio.

“Full of the bawdy licentiousness and scabrous wit of the Jacobean era.” - BBC

--- D/S Peter Greenaway P David Payne WS BFI L English, German, Dutch w/English subtitles TD 35mm/1982