The painting Workers in Snow (Woll M 1091) is in very poor condition. It has frequently been sought-after for in-house and external exhibitions, but the museum has had to deny these requests due to the painting's poor condition.
Since the greatest problem is the poor adhesion of the paint layers to the canvas, the main purpose of the current project is to stabilize these paint layers.
There are many degradation phenomena in the painting that reveal the extent to which Munch's working methods, materials and subsequent treatment have affected its condition. The paint layers are matt and fragmented, and the surface uneven.
The painting was reinforced with loose lining in 1955, most likely with adhesive glue and iron. This might explain why some of the paint layers appear to be compressed.
The painting was cleaned during the 1960s, using a method which presumably caused the paint layers to become brittle.
The painting was discussed in the lecture Edvard Munch's Arbeidere i snø, an ongoing process by Jin Ferrer, Eva Storevik Tveit and Petra Pettersen, which was given at the conference Finito/Non-Finito: Internationality and the Modern Fragment at the University of Oslo in November 2014.
The motif Workers in Snow exists in several versions, as paintings, drawings and graphic works – including lithography and woodcut. Munch also made a sculpture of the motif.