Ouwater worked as one of the last representatives of a pictorial tradition which had reached its apogee during the Dutch ‘Golden Age’. Working in the tradition of the topographical townscape, he took especial inspiration from the work of his predecessor, Jan van der Heyden. Although he lived in Amsterdam for the greater part of his life, Ouwater travelled throughout Holland, making sketches which later worked up in his paintings. His townscapes are frequently characterized by his mastery of the play of light, fresh colours and meticulously rendered architectural details. The present views depict the town of Edam in the Netherlands, situated on the Markermeer, north of Amsterdam. Both are appear to have been based on a pair of detailed pen and wash drawings of the same views, now in the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, Amersfoort (inv. nos. 40001746 and 40001747), though differ in the number and arrangement of the figure which populate them. In the second painting, the city gates are shown surmounted by the town’s coat-of-arms, showing a bull, with three stars above, on a red field.