Norwegians and Finns have traditionally lived close to nature. Therefore nature has become a kind of friend that must be accepted with his or her positive and negative sides. Birth and death within the cycles of nature are easy to see as part of human fate. The spiritual link between humanity and nature could already be seen in European Romanticism of the early nineteenth century, but it grew and gained new dimensions in the fin de siècle.
The characteristics of the Nordic nature, such as bright summer nights and vast forests, were seen in the continental European cities as exotic mysteries, which spurred interest in Nordic landscape painting. In particular, the most famous Nordic artist, Edvard Munch, became renowned for the manner in which he bound together all the elements of a picture. In his landscapes, natural forms and human mental states merge into one another.