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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:
150 Hours to sculpt a single face
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.
5L of wax per head
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.
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.
42 Hours of painting per face
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.
6M of lace & 6M of silk for Penélope Cruz's dress
Period costumes are manufactured in the Grévin's own workshops, using historical documents.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.
42 hours of painting per face
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.
3 working hours & 8 days of drying for a broken ear
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!