The painting Train Smoke from 1900 is part of a series of landscapes from the turn of the century, with rhythmic and lyrical tints in its surface areas, colours and interaction of lines. A sensitive observation of nature is executed in a classical, simplified way in thesynthesised “art noveau”-style of the time.
The motif is seen from Ljan in Nordstrand looking out across the Oslo fjord.
We are looking down a tree-clad hillside where a train is passing. In the foreground we see pine trees with brown trunks and green tops. Wavy lines round the treetops give an impression of trees moving in the wind.
We can hardly see the train. It’s the train smoke between the trees that fascinated Munch. Like the pine tops, the smoke is depicted in simplified, rounded shapes, defined and limited by clear contour lines. Particularly is woven in with the trees and becomes an effective and decorative pattern. Further down the hill we can see the silhouettes of marked is the white round smoke cloud to the right in the picture.
The round shape of the smoke spruces, like a dark ribbon marking the border between land and fjord.