Adriaen van Ostade ranks as one of the leading painters of everyday life, a subject for which Dutch artists of the seventeenth century gained fame at home and abroad. Van Ostade studied under Frans Hals (1582/83-1666), Haarlem’s renowned portraitist, but was influenced most by his fellow pupil Adriaen Brouwer (1605/6-1638), who painted dazzling scenes of rough and common types in taverns and the countryside. This early work by Van Ostade shows five poor and ragged peasants in a barn, drinking and carousing to music. He renders their awkward figures uncompromisingly, with great detail, vivid emotional expression and dramatic effect. His use of strong contrast of light and dark chiaroscuro is striking. The young Van Ostade clearly took an interest in the works that Rembrandt produced during his final years in Leiden (1628-1630), a connection that gives this painting special relevance to the works by Rembrandt and his followers in the Bader Collection.