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Costume Design, Ballet, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Farmer, Watercolor and Pastel, 1967


Peter Farmer (1941-2017)
Ballet Costume for The Sleeping Beauty
British: 1967
Pastel and watercolor on paper
Signed lower right Farmer 67, titled upper left
19.75 x 17.5 inches, image
27.75 x 21.75 inches, framed

Elegant original costume design drawing by the renowned British ballet costume and set designer Peter Farmer. The female dancer wears a blue dress with floor-length full skirt and dramatic puffed sleeves with ruffles. The expressive drawing technique combines opaque and transparent watercolor with pastel to convey the rich color and texture of the fabrics. It is mounted in a beautiful gilt wood frame with window mat.

Product description continues below.


In the upper left corner, the drawing is labeled Prologue, Sleeping Beauty. We do not know for which production or character this was designed, however, above the title is a word beginning with a letter “C” that is perhaps the name of a key character in the Prologue, Carabosse. Farmer did design the costumes for a Royal Ballet production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1973, but for that production he was brought in as a last-minute replacement for the original designer just six weeks before the production premiered. With a six-year discrepancy with the date he wrote on the drawing (1967), it is possible, but uncertain, whether he used this design in that particular production.

Peter Farmer was a leading British costume and set designer for the ballet from the 1960s to the 2010s. He designed for most of the world’s major ballet companies: The Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells, London Festival Ballet, English National Ballet, and Scottish Ballet, in Britain; The Royal Danish Ballet; the Rome and Cologne Opera Houses; the Stuttgart Ballet; the Australian Ballet; and numerous American companies including American Ballet Theatre. He worked with leading choreographers and designed many classic ballets for these companies, including The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Cinderella, Manon, and Anna Karenina. He also designed productions of dramas such as Night of the Iguana at the Savoy Theatre. In addition, Farmer was a prolific book illustrator and had many solo exhibitions of his paintings.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling. Not examined out of the frame. Presented in gold leaf frame with silk mat with light wear and handling.


“Peter Farmer.” American Ballet Theatre. 2020. (10 June 2022).

“Peter Farmer.” Royal Opera House. (10 June 2022).

“The Sleeping Beauty 1973.” Kenneth MacMillan. (10 June 2022).

Additional information


20th Century