Peter Greenaway

November 28, 2017 by Laura Gomez


Peter Greenaway was born in Wales and educated in London. He is trained as a painter for four years, and started making his own films in 1966. He has continued to make cinema in a great variety of ways, which has also informed his making of installations for the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, the Joan Miro Gallery in Barcelona, the Boyman -van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, the Louvre in Paris, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Hoffburg in Vienna, the Brera in Milan and the Armory in New York.

He has collaborated with the composers John Cage, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, Wim Mertens, Louis Andriessen, Goran Brekovic, Giovanni Sollima and David Lang, and toured the world with his Tulse Luper Suitcases VJ Show. He has regularly been nominated for the Film Festival Competitions of Cannes, Venice and Berlin. He had published fictions, film-scrips and catalogues, written for the theatre and opera, held numerous painting shows and participated in many installations.


His first feature film, The Draughtsman’s Contract, completed in 1982, received much critical acclaim and established him internationally as one of the most original and important film makers of our times, a reputation consolidated by the films, The cook, the Thief, his Wife & her Lover and The Pillow-book and more recently by Nightwatching and Goltzius & The Pelican Company. His current projects include multimedia installations involving the original paintings of Rembrandt’s Night Watch in Amsterdam, da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan, and the Veronese Marriage at Cana in Venice. Peter is also known as a VJ, he creates live cinema by combining different film scenes with the music of a live DJ.


The 2013 feature film Goltzius & the Pelican Company had its international première at the Rome Film Festival November 2012 and the French distribution première in the Louvre, Paris.The short 3D film Just in time commissioned for the Guimaraes European Cultural Capital Fund was premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

The most recent feature-film project Eisenstein in Guanajuato had its première in competition in the 2015 Berlinale.
Films currently in production are Walking to Paris, Food for love and the first and second films in the Eisenstein trilogy Eisenstein Abroad.

Greenaway has honorary degrees from the Universities of Staffordshire, Edinburgh, Gdansk, Bucharest, Southampton and Utrecht, and was awarded a CBE in 1990 and a BAFTA in 2014 for services to cinema.


Peter Greenaway Feature Films

2015 Eisenstein in Guanajuato. 105 mins. Premiered in competition at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, The Hong Kong Film Festival,the Istanbul Film Festival,the Moscow Film Festival, the LA Film Festival. Peter won Best Director Award at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI)
2012 Goltzius and the Pelican Company. Produced by Kees Kasander Utrecht Film Festival. Rome Film Festival Bucharest and Palm Springs Film Festival
2008 Rembrandt’s J’Accuse. A Submarine co-production with Kasander/ VPRO / WDR/ARTE France/ YLE Two versions: 86 and 100 minutes. Premiered at Rome Film Festival
2007 Nightwatching. Produced by Kees Kasander. Premiered September 2007. Nominated at the Venice Film Festival.Premiered at the Utrecht Film Festival – two Golden Calf awards – Art Direction and Script
2007 Peopling the Palaces, 180 mins. Installation Film at Venaria Reale. Italy
2005 Tulse Luper ‘A Life in Suitcases, 120 mins. World Premiere: Cambridge Film Festival. Festivals & Markets
2005 International Film Festival Cannes
2004 The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 3 From Sark to the Finish, 120 mins. Premiere: Venice Film Festival. Three-part film (7 hours) Film Festivals: Montreal, Haifa, Thessaloniki, Sophia, Scopje, Osnabruck, etc.
2004 The Tulse Luper Suitcases Part 2: Vaux to the Sea. 108 mins.Premiere – Berlin Film Festival
2003 The Tulse Luper Suitcases: Antwerp. Premiere Venice Film Festival
2003 The Tulse Luper Suitcases Part 1 The Moab Story. 127 mins. Premiere – Cannes Film Festival Competition. Film Festivals: Cambridge, Edinburgh, Sitges, Naples, Ischia, Toronto


1999 8½ Women, 120 mins. A Co-Production between Woodline Productions Ltd., Movie Masters, Delux Productions s.a. & Continent Film Gmbh, with the support of
Eurimages, Dutch Film 120 mins. Starring John Standing and Matthew Delamere. In competition Cannes Film Festival
1996 The Pillow Book, 120 mins. A co-production between Kasander & Wigman Productions, Woodline Films & Alpha Films in association with Channel FourFilms, Studio Canal Plus and Delux Productions. Starring VivianWu, Ken Ogata, Yoshi Oida, Hideko Yoshida, Ewan McGregor and Judy Ongg. Prizes: Le Distinction Glace Gervais (Cannes), Best Film & Best Cinematographer Sitges, Spain
1994 Stairs 1 Geneva, 100 min. Apsara Production. Music Patrick Mimran. Film of PG¹s installation exhibition The Stairs, Geneva
1993 The Baby of Mâcon, 120 mins. An Allarts Production in Co-Production with UGC-La Sept and in association with Cine Electra II, Channel Four, Filmstiftung Nordrhein Westfalen, Canal +. Starring: Julia Ormond, Ralph Fiennes, Philip Stone, Jonathan Lacey, Don Henderson, Jeff Nuttall, Kathryn Hunter, Gabriel Reidy, Jessica Stevenson
1991 Prospero’s Books – 123 mins. Allarts, Cinea, Camera One, Penta Film Co-production in association with Elsevier Vendex Film, Film Four International, VPRO,Canal Plus & NHK. Film Festivals: Venice, New York, Sao Paalo.Starring John Gielgud, Isabelle Pasco, Michael Clark, Michel Blanc, Jim van der Woude, Gerard Thoolen, Pierre Bokma, Michael Romeyn
1989 The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover – 120 min. An Allarts Cook Ltd, Erato Films Inc Co-Production. Film Festivals: Cannes, Edinburgh, Rio. Starring: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard.
1988 Drowning by Numbers, 108 mins. A Film Four International and Elsevier Vendex Film Presentation of an Allarts Production, 108 min. Film Festivals: Cannes, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Rio, New Delhi, Toronto. Starring: Bernard Hill, Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson, Joely Richardson. Prizes: Best Artistic Contribution (Cannes for Peter Greenaway)
1987 The Belly of an Architect, 105 mins. a Callender Company, Film Four International, British Screen, Sacis, Hemdale Co-production. A Callender Company, Film Four International, British Screen, Sacis, Hemdale Co-production. Film Festivals: Cannes, Edinburgh, New York, Montreal, Chicago. Prize: Chicago Best Actor – Brian Dennehy
1985 A Zed & Two Noughts, 112 mins, BFI, Film Four International, Allarts Enterprises, Artificial Eye Production. Film Festivals: London, Rotterdam, Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Starring Andrea Ferreol, Frances Barber, Joss Ackland
1982 The Draughtsman’s Contract, 108 mins. BFI in association with Channel Four Television. Film Festivals: Edinburgh, Venice, London, New York, Berlin, Rotterdam, Sydney, Mebourne. Stararing Anthony Higgings, Janet Suzman & Anne Louise Lambert. French Title: Meurtre dans un jardin AnglaisThe Falls, 1980, 185 mins. BFI, Film Festivals: London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Chicago, Melbourne, Sydney. Prizes: BFI Award, L’Age d’Or Brussels


Installations & Exhibitions

2015 Gehorsam / Obedience, the Jewish Museum Berlin By Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway
2015 Sex & the Sea,at the Maritime Museum Stockholm By Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway
2015 In the beginning was the image, Venice Biennale 2015 Italian Pavilion
2014 The Black Square, The Golden Age of Russian Avant-Garde, Moscow By Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway
2013 Sex & The Sea, Maritiem Museum, Rotterdam By Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway
2013 The Towers/Lucca Hubris, Lucca by Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway
2013 The Dance of Death an installation by Peter Greenaway at Basle by Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke
2011 A Day in a Life of the Castle, Castle Amerongen By Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway
2010 The Last Supper – at the Armory, Park Avenue, New York. A multi-screen extravagance featuring the da Vinci Last Supper from Milan and the Veronese Wedding
at Cana from Venice
2010 Italy of the Cities – multiscreen installation at the Shanghai Expo Italian pavilion
2010 The Big Bang, at the Copernicus Museum of Science in Warsaw By Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway
2009 Medellin Colombia Installation with video and photographs by Luciano Romano
2009 Installation on the Veronese Wedding at Cana at the Convent of San Giorgio in Venice
2008 Installation on the da Vinci painting of THE LAST SUPPER in Milan at the Santa Maria delle Gracia Refectory and the Palazzo Duomo
2008 The Blue Planet, closure performance of the expo in Spain at Zaragoza By Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway
2006 Fort Asperen Ark. Asperen. June-October. Exhibition/Installation onNoah and Flood Warning in Holland
2006 Nightwatching. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. June-August. Installationon the Rembrandt painting of The Nightwatch
2006 The Children of Uranium, Naples Palazzo delle Arti Napoli
2005 The Children of Uranium, The Museum of Modern Art/ Villa Groce, Genova. Direction: Saskia Boddeke, Text: Peter Greenaway
2004 Wash & Travel, at the Eglise Sainte-Marie Madeleine Lille, Lille Cultural Capital Festival 2004. Installation/Performance at Lille Cultural Capital
Festival. Direction: Saskia Boddeke, Text: Peter Greenaway
2004 Luper at Compton Verney. Warwickshire. An exhibition of Luper¹s 92 Suitcases. Summer and Autumn
2001 Via Dokwerd. Exhibition-installation on North Netherlands Landscape, May-September, Groningen
2001 Hell and Heaven. Exhibition-installation of Mediaeval Northern Netherlands, April-Sept. Groninger Museum, Groningen.
2001 A Map to Paradise: The Second Map. Parma Stables, ITALY, Oct-Nov
2000 Flyga över vatten/Flying over water, Malmö Konsthall
A Map to Paradise. The First Map – Ljubliana Castle, SLOVENIA, Sep-Nov
2000 Wash & Travel. Rotonda Della Besana, Milan, ITALY, April 2000 Bologna Towers 2000, Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, June-July
1997 Flying Over Water. Miro Foundation, Barcelona, March-May
1996 Cosmology at the Piazza del Popolo. A history of the Piazza from Nero to Fellini using light and sound.
Rome, 23-30th June1996 In the Dark – Spellbound: Art & Film.
Hayward Gallery, LONDON, February 1996 with contributors from Damien Hirst, Ridley Scott, Paula Rego, Terry Gilliam, Eduardo Paolozzi, Douglas Gordon, Boyd Webb
and Steve McQueen
1995 The Stairs, Munich, Projection. Munich October
1994 The Stairs, Geneva, The location. Geneva April
1993 The Audience of Macon, Foto Gallery, Cardiff, October
1993 Some Organising Principles.Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, October
1993 Watching Water, Palazzo Fortuni, Venice, June
1992 Les Bruits des Nuages, Flying Out of this World, Louvre, Paris
1990 The Physical Self, Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Opera and music theatre performances

2005 Democracy. Performance/ Installation Athens
2001 Gold, 92 Bars in a Crashed Car, Music-theatre on the subject of holocaust gold. Text:Peter Greenaway. Direction: Saskia Boddeke. Premiered Frankfurt,
Schauspielhaus, November 2nd 2001
1999 Writing To Vermeer. An opera in 6 scenes, 105 mins. Libretto: Peter Greenaway. Direction: Saskia Boddeke, Music: Louis Andriessen. Premiered: Muziektheater,
Amsterdam. 11 performances (toured to Adelaide Festival, Australia – March 2000 and to Lincoln Centre, New York – July 2000)
1998 Christopher Colombus, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin Direction Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway.
Music: Darius Milhaud, Libretto: Paul Claudel. Premiered: Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin. 5 performances
1997 100 Objects to represent the World – A Prop Opera: 70 mins. Libretto: Peter Greenaway. Direction: Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke. Music: Jean-Baptiste
Barriere. Premiered: Zeitfluss Festival, Salzburg. Performances in: Naples; Palermo; Paris; Munich; Stockholm; Rio de Janeiro; Sao Paulo; Thessaloniki;
Copenhagen; La Coruna; Guanajuato; and Mexico City
1994 Rosa, a Horse Drama, 80 mins. Opera in 12 scenes. Libretto: Peter Greenaway. Direction: Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddek e, Music: LouisAndriessen.Premiered: Muziektheater, Amsterdam


Peter Greenaway Shorts

2013 Just in Time – 15 mins. 3D film for Guimaraes European Cultural Capital. Premiered at Cannes Film Festival
2011 Castle Amerongen – 37 mins.
2004 European Showerbath – segment of Visions of Europe – 5 mins, 30 seconds. Produced by Kees KasanderShort Film for Danish TV on the European Community.
2001 The Reitdiep Journeys, 56 mins. Made in association with the exhibition of The Grand Terp in Groningen – for AVRO TV Holland.
2001 The Man in the Bath – 7 mins.
1997 The Bridge Celebration – 11 mins. A Kasander & Wigman Production (Rotterdam Film Festival). Rotterdam celebrates a new bridge connecting the old city and the new.
1995 Segment of Lumière and Company – 55 sec
1992 Rosa, La monnaie de munt – 15 mins. La Monnaie de Munt, Rosas Production. Choreography by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker in collaboration with Jean-Luc Ducourt. Starring: Fumiyo Ikeda and Nordine Benchorf. Music Bela Bartok. Prize: Dance Screen
1989 Hubert Bals Handshake – 5 mins. An Allarts Production for the Rotterdam Film Festival
1986 Inside Rooms: 26 Bathrooms- 26 min Channel Four
1984 Making a Splash – 24 mins. Channel Four, Media Software
1978 Vertical Features Remake – 45 mins. Arts Council of Great Britain, Film Festivals: Edinburgh,New Directors New York, Chicago
1978 Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist – 41 mins. Film Festivals: London, Edinburgh, New Directors New York, Melbourne, Hong Kong Price: Chicago, Hugo Award
1978 1–100 – 4 mins.
1977 Dear Phone – 17 mins.
1976 Goole by Numbers – 40 mins.
1975 Windows – 4 mins.
1975 Water Wrackets – 12 mins.
1975 Water – 5 mins
1973 H Is for House – 10 mins.
1971 Erosion – 27 mins.
1969 Intervals – 7 mins.
1967 5 Postcards from Capital Cities – 35 mins.
1967 Revolution – 8 mins
1966 Tree – 16 mins.
1966 Train – 5 mins.
1961 Death of Sentiment – 8 mins.


Peter Greenaway Documentaries

2011 Atomic Bombs on the Planet Earth – 12 mins. Film Award from Rio de Janeiro “Uranium” Film Festival.
2009 The Marriage, 27 mins. A documentary onthe Veronese Painting of The Marriage of Cana – premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
2008 Rembrandt’s J’Accuse – 86 mins.
2001 The Reitdiep Journeys – 56 mins. Made in association with the exhition of The Grand Terp in Groningen.
1988 Fear of Drowning – 26 mins. Channel Four
1983 The Coastline – 26 mins.
1983 Four American Composers – 55 mins. Channel Four Television. Documentaries on John Cage, Robert Ashley, Philip Glass & Mededith Monk
1981 Terence Conran – 15 mins.
1980 Lacock Village – 5 mins.
1980 Country Diary – 5 mins.
1979 Zandra Rhodes – 15 mins. G.B. Documentary, COI Film Festivals: Chicago Prize: Chicago Hugo Award, Section 1981
1979 Women Artists – 5 mins.
1979 Leeds Castle – 5 mins.
1978 Eddie Kid – 5 mins.
1978 Cut Above the Rest – 5 mins.


Peter Greenaway Television

1999 The Death of a Composer: Rosa, a Horse Drama – 90 mins. Film of the opera, made in Amsterdam in 1994/1998. Co-production NPS Dutch Television and The
Netherlands Opera.
1993 Darwin, French TV – 52 mins. A Telemax Les Editions Audiovisuelles, Allarts Co-Production in association with Antennae 2, Channel 4, RAI 2, Telepool, Time
1992 A Walk Through Prospero’s Library – 23 mins
1991 M Is for Man, Music, Mozart – 29 mins. A BBC, AVRO television, Artifax Co-production. 29 min. Music by Louis Andriessen. Starring Ben Craft.
1989 A TV Dante, mini-series – KGP Productions in association with Channel Four Elsevier Vendex, VPRO. Made in collaboration with the painter Tom Phillips. Starring: John Gielgud, Bob Peck & Joanne Whalley-Kilmer – 8 episodes each 10 mins.
1988 Death in the Seine, French TV – 44 mins. Erato Films, Allarts TV Productions, Mikros Image, La Sept. Starring: Jim van der Woude & Jean-Michel Dagory.
1981 Act of God – Thames TV, 25 mins. Film Festivals: Edinburgh, Melbourne, Sydney, Chicago, New York. Prizes: Melbourne Short Films: Sydney Short Film.


Images Copyright/All rights reserved to Peter Greenaway and Luperpedia Foundation

Luperpedia Foundation
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 12
1017 RC Amsterdam
The Netherlands