You may not think you know who Edvard Munch is, but you do. One glance at the brightly painted face of a man screaming and you’ll be nodding your head in recognition –oh yeah, him. He was a prolific painter in the late 19th-century and this bike trail in Norway can give you a greater insight into his life and works…
Munch was born in a farmhouse in a small village in Løten, Norway, about 120 kilometres north of Oslo. This is where you’ll find the Munch Centre, which contains a number of exhibitions that focus on young Edvard’s life and his visits to the region in adulthood. Many of the exhibits tell the story of his childhood and the influences that growing up there had upon his work. There’s a workshop that allows you to immerse yourself in his personal correspondences and an interactive section that allows you to practice matching skin tones the way Munch did.
Munch travelled by train and Løten Nærstasjon is one of the few remaining stations that still sell tickets over a counter. If this is your last stop in Løten, the local bakery is nearby to grab a quick pastry before hopping on your bike. An even better option is to ask for the Munch lunch at the station. Your two-course meal is based on local produce and is quite similar to the meals that Munch would have had while waiting for the train here.
Follow the signboards to continue on the trail to the farmhouse where Edvard’s parents lived, Engelaug østre. The farm is privately owned, but they don’t mind if you take pictures from a designated area.
Further along the trail you’ll pass the home of Edvard’s sister Sophie, who was also an artist. Each site is marked by a signboard describing the location and the significance of the sight to Munch’s life.
To see the famous paintings – there are four versions of The Scream – you’ll need to head back to the station and hop on a train to Oslo. One version of the painting hangs in the National Gallery there and two others in the Munch Museum, which is a little out of town. The final version is owned by a private collector, but in the past has been put on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.