All sorts of characters appear in this busy village scene. The tattered group in the foreground on the left watches as events unfold, among them the assault of a burgher in the middle of the street. People line up at market stalls on the right while a man standing in the road beats a drum and horse-drawn wagons make their way through the crowd. Both Droochsloot's figures and the tenor of his village scenes relate to those of earlier Flemish painters such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder (circa 1525-1569). Bruegel's depictions of village life were popular throughout the seventeenth century and influenced the peasant and tavern scenes of artists such as David Teniers (1610-1690) and Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1684).
Joost Cornelisz. Droochsloot was born in 1586 and little is known of his life. He was admitted to the Utrecht Guild of St. Luke in 1616 at the age of forty and was active in the city until 1660. He served as dean of the Guild in 1623-4. Droochsloot is known primarily for genre scenes such as A town view with figures gathered in the street, but he also painted landscapes and historical subjects. Other works include Soldiers in a Village of 1644 (Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand) and A Village Scene (Musée du Louvre, Paris).