Cotman was a native of Norwich and a leading watercolourist and etcher of the Norwich School. This bustling scene records what must have been an everyday experience for Cotman when he was living in the city. His superb draughtsmanship is evident despite the considerable fading of colour, particularly the blue of the sky. Many of his architectural drawings contain a strong sense of line.
The church of St Peter Mancroft remains standing, and there is still a covered market in Norwich today. However, many of the medieval buildings on the right hand side of Cotman’s picture were demolished to make way for the new City Hall.