Shortly after his return from Paris Jacob Maris paid his first visit to Amsterdam, where he was fascinated by the city's beauty when viewed from the water. In particular the imposing series of houses, warehouses, drawbridges and the striking Schreierstoren inspired him to paint innumerable canvasses. A modest painting of 1872 (formerly with M. Knoedler & Co, New York) opens the series, already containing all the elements found in this version. In the following years a number of slightly varying, but no less distinct, images of this same view evolved from this work; the Rijksmuseum alone possesses four different oil versions, apart from a watercolour of 1875 and a charcoal drawing of the same motif Maris did not greatly value topographical accuracy and treated his subjects freely, so that versions of this view may be found with either one or two drawbridges. The composition shown in The Schreierstoren is considered the most classic of the various elaborations; another five versions are known, all of similar size, and generally dated to the 1880s.
Source: R. de Leeuw, J. Sillevis, Ch. Dumas (eds.), The Hague School: Dutch masters of the 19th century, The Hague 1983