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Costume - The Draughtsman's Contract

The Draughtsman's Contract

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1982 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Blane, Sue (designers)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the British Film Institute

  • Museum number:

    S.1688:1 to 2-2015

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Costume worn in the film The Draughtsman's Contract, designed by Sue Blane, 1982.

Peter Greenaway became a director of international status with this witty, stylist and erotic country house murder mystery. Set in 17th century Wiltshire, Anthony Higgins plays an ambitious draughtsman, who is commissioned by the wife (Janet Suzman) of an aristocrat to produce twelve drawings of her husband’s estate, in return for which he will receive payment, board and sexual favours. Sue Blane’s elegant costumes, the twisting plot and Michael Nymans playful musical score made this one of the most celebrated UK films of the 1980s. Film critic Roger Ebert said ‘a tantalising puzzle, wrapped in eroticism and presented with the utmost elegance. I have never seen a film like it, a crossword puzzle for the senses’.

The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Chinese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.

Physical description

Costume worn in the film The Draughtsman's Contract, designed by Sue Blane, 1982.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1982 (made)


Blane, Sue (designers)


Length: 70 cm Hat laid flat, Width: 55 cm Dress, width, laid flat, Length: 245 cm Dress, legnth, laid flat, Weight: 6.5 kg Dress, weight

Descriptive line

Costume worn in the film The Draughtsman's Contract, designed by Sue Blane, 1982


Entertainment & Leisure; Film and Cinema; Costumes


Theatre and Performance Collection

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