It is most likely that this scene was created in Åsgårdstrand on the Kristianiafjord, where the artist once owned a home. He loved this region and even commented once that he felt like he was walking around in his own paintings when spending time here. Munch finished this painting in the year 1900 and put in considerable detail into the background, including a small sun which peaks through to the left of a large green bush. The girls themselves are dressed in traditional clothing which gives an air of innocence and charm to this artwork. The artist would later produce several similar compositions where he altered the pose of the girls, but kept the rest much the same.
The Girls on the Bridge reminds us of another bridge-based Munch painting - namely his world-famous The Scream. The artist clearly found this format to be a good way of placing figurative portraits alongside landscape backgrounds. The painting here also benefits from the use of a reflection of the buildings across the water, reminding the viewer of the river which flows below whilst also increasing the feeling of calm. This painting is perhaps brighter than many of his other works, a delivers a much more positive atmosphere. One can only conclude that Edvard Munch was in a good mood when he put this artwork together as emotion was a key element of the Expressionist movement.
The larger image featured below allows you to see more of the detail incorporated into the painting, even down to the artist's initials that he placed in the bottom left. The girls have a mixture of headwear, with the nearest girl allowing her bright hair to flow down to her waist. Some thin darker lines are added to the bridge in order to outline how it is made of long wood panels. We can almost imagine the feeling of this material, underneath the girl's feet. They stare across to the left, slightly downwards towards the flowing river.