Gerhard Munthe (1849-1929) looked to the medieval traditions of his native Norway for inspiration. In this retrospective search for pre-modern cultural roots, Munthe followed the lead of William Morris, the driving force of the British "Arts and Crafts" movement; in fact, Munthe has been called "the William Morris of Norway."
Munthe's enthusiasm for tapestries and rugs from the Middle Ages showed in his paintings, but it was especially in book design that he revived old Norwegian traditions. He assembled and illustrated fine books that collected centuries-old folk ballads and tales.
Dissatisfied with the fitness of existing printing types for one of these books, Draumkvædet (1900-04), Munthe hand-rendered the lettering, based upon medieval Scandinavian models. After its publication and enthusiastic reception, he worked with the German typefoundry Klingspor to produce this alphabet in type; however, Munthe's type was never released, and was lost when the foundry was bombed during World War II.