Sitting Man and Woman, Their Foreheads Touching

Gustav Vigeland’s Sitting Man and Woman, Their Foreheads Touching (1916) is the original plaster model for one of the first sculptures carved in Iddefjord-granite for the Monolith Plateau in the Vigeland Park. The plaster sculpture has an uneven patina with areas of hard contrasts between dark and light surfaces, and several old retouches to the form – some of which are quite rough. In the spring of 2021, during my internship at the Vigeland Museum, I completed a conservation treatment of the sculpture.

Documentation and mapping before treatment:

The conservation treatments were performed in-situ with a selective cleaning process, and some local filling and retouching of recent material losses. When developing a treatment plan, the historic and aesthetic values connected to the sculpture were emphasized through an archival investigation into the art technological aspects of Vigeland’s production. I published an article with a discussion on the whole process in Norske Konserves 2021/2 that you can find here.

Before and after images of local treatments:

Detail image of a dark stain on the woman’s foot.
Stain reduced after cleaning.
A filling made to complete a small material loss on the man’s hand.
Small filling on the man’s hand after retouching.