Edvard Munch’s 1927 painting The girls on the Bridge and his house in Asgardstrand

Welcome to “Art, Culture & Books” with me Anthony King. Today I’ll be taking you on a photographic tour of Edvard Munch’s 1927 painting The girls on the Bridge and his house in Asgardstrand and the area where he painted so many of his paintings, including his girls on a bridge series. I’ll take you to the exact spot on the… pier, not a bridge, as far as I can remember! I’ll also take you on an exploration of the whole area.

Edvard Munch, born on December 12, 1863, and died on January 23, 1944, was a Norwegian painter known for his significant contribution to Western art. Among his notable works is “The Scream,” created in 1893. Titled “Young Girls on a Bridge,” Munch produced twelve versions of this artwork between 1886 and 1927. These pieces portray a jetty in Åsgårdstrand on the Oslofjord, where the artist spent multiple summers.

Each artwork captures a distinct emotion, with variations in colour and composition. One version, created for the “salon des indépendants” in Paris in 1903, was acquired by Mikhail Morozov and is currently housed in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. Another version from 1902 was purchased at Sotheby’s New York in 2016 for $54.5 million by Hasso Plattner. “The Girls on the Bridge” motif was a recurring theme for Munch over almost 30 years. While the composition remains largely consistent, Munch made subtle changes, such as altering the direction of the nearest girl or adding an extra girl to the group.

Edvard Munch drew inspiration from the vivid Nordic summer nights, and nature played a pivotal role in his artworks. The interplay between people and the landscape symbolically forms a coherent entity. The 1927 version closely resembles the 1901 version housed in the National Gallery in Oslo.