Joost Cornelisz. Droochsloot was born in Utrecht, probably in 1586, and was first recorded when he entered that city's Guild of St. Luke in 1616. In 1623 he became Dean of the Guild, an office he held again during 1641-2. From 1638 until his death in 1666, he was regent of the Hiob (Job) Hospital.
Little is known about Drooschloot's life and his teacher is unknown, although his small-scale figure scenes are composed in a style that reveals an unmistakable Flemish influence. He may have studied in Antwerp or come in to contact with David Vinckboons (1576-1633). His figures, at least, are strongly reminiscent of those in works by Vinckboons and Sebastien Vrancx (1573-1647). His earliest work consisted of large figure paintings such as The Seven Acts of Mercy of 1618 (Utrecht, Centraal Museum). Droochsloot later painted small-scale renderings of contemporary events, such as the formal disbanding of the Utrecht militias by Prince Maurits which took place in 1618, visually documenting a key moment in the city's history.
The greater part of his work, however, is made up of low-life genre scenes, showing peasant interiors and village scenes crowded with people; the action may include plundering, a festive kermesse or a Bible story. It is not documented if Droochsloot attained artistic success during his lifetime but what is known is that he supplemented his income by taking on pupils, specializing in drawing lessons; one of his better known pupils was Jacob Duck (c.1600-1667).
A very similar hamlet scene to the present painting, with its broad sky and its church and buildings flanking a parade of village dwellers in various occupations was sold, Dorotheum, Vienna, 11 June 1996, lot 245 ($176,141).