This example of Ruysdael's maturity depicts one of the artist's favourite subjects, the 'Halt before the Inn'. His earliest forays into the theme date from the beginning of the 1630s with depictions of halts of wagons before buildings, set in dune landscapes, that are stylistically reminiscent of the works of Pieter Molyn: for example the Halt at a farm of 1631 in the Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest (inv. no. 260). From the early 1640s, however, Salomon turned to the subject with a particular interest as he moved away from the tonal landscapes and river views of the previous decade towards a statelier depiction of his native environs that is often seen as representing a new, 'classicizing' period of Dutch landscape painting.
Other examples of the subject include such pictures as the Halt before the inn of 1655 in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. A713), or the 1645 Travellers before an inn exhibited in Masters of 17th-Century Dutch Landscape Painting (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts; and Philadelphia, Museum of Art, 1988, no. 92), the upright View of Beverwijk of 1646 in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (inv. no. 1982,396), the View in a village of 1663 in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. A2571). All of these, including the present painting, share certain features, be it in the basic diagonal structure (seen here in the light earth running from the lower right to the centre left, and then taken up by the trees and clouds to the upper right of the composition), the darker foreground repoussoir or even elements of the staffage, although over the intervening years these were refined and reinterpreted.