OUWATER, Isaak
(b. 1750, Amsterdam, d. 1793, Amsterdam)

The Lottery Office

1779
Oil on canvas
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Isaak Ouwater was the best follower of Jan van der Heyden. He concentrated on cityscapes. Although Ouwater's paintings can be a little dry and airless, and, when compared to to van der Heyden's, appear timid, he always displays a fine sense of design as is evident in his Lottery Office.

Here his debt to van der Heyden's execution also is unmistakable; in it his minute handling is best enjoyed with a magnifying glass. But his close, frontal view of the street scene is original. The painting is an exact rendering of the façades of three houses in the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam which have an antiquarian interest that enhances the painting's historical value. The lottery office that the crowd is trying to enter was first inhabited by Clement de Jonghe, who posed for Rembrandt and was a publisher of Rembrandt's etchings. The house on the right was once occupied by Jacob van Ruisdael, the one on the left by Aert van der Neer.