Secrets of the workshop
... But who can keep a secret?

The expertise of Grévin

The creation of a wax figure is the result of many phases of work.
From sculpture to costume, all the secrets of making a waxwork figure unveiled:

The sculpture

150 Hours to sculpt a single face

The sculpture

Several sculptors work full time for the Grévin. Clay models of faces are made with the portrayed person sitting for the artist, or based on photographic documents. Bodies are modelled in clay using stand-ins.

Moulding

5L of wax per head

Moulding

Once the sculpture is completed, a plaster and elastomere mould is made. Into this mould, wax is cast for the face, and resin for the body.

Eyes and Teeth

500 000 hair per figure

Eyes and Teeth

The eyes, of medical grade precision, are made of glass and frequently selected in the presence of the celebrity concerned. Hair is natural, and each one is implanted individually. There can be as many as 500,000 on a single head. Teeth are made by a professional dental specialist.

Make-up

42 Hours of painting per face
 

Make-up

After extraction from the mould, the wax head goes to the make-up shop. The face is made up with oil paints. Every tiny detail, such as shadows around the eyes, marks, beauty spots, scars, are painstakingly reproduced.

Costumes

6M of lace & 6M of silk for Penélope Cruz's dress

Costumes

Period costumes are manufactured in the Grévin's own workshops, using historical documents. For contemporary celebrities, quite frequently their favourite dress designer makes the costume, or else they give the Grévin one of their own outfits.

Accessories

42 hours of painting per face 

Accessories

Accessories get all the attention they deserve. Some of them actually belonged to the character concerned. This is the case for the authentic hip-bath in which Marat was assassinated, or the harpsichord that Mozart is said to have used.

Maintenance

3 working hours & 8 days of drying for a broken ear

Maintenance

Everything gets done before the public arrives: the hairdresser tidies Céline Dion’s hair, the painter touches up Monica Bellucci’s hands, (victims of her popularity), the workshop moulds a new ear to replace one that got damaged and the wardrobe mistress replaces a diadem next to Madame de Fontenay for the future Miss Grévin!