Peasants Before an Inn is a 1660 painting by the Dutch Golden Age artist Jan Steen. This work is located in the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio.
During the Dutch Golden Age, which spanned roughly the 17th century, inns played a significant role in the social, economic, and cultural life of the Netherlands. Inns served as important gathering places for travelers, merchants, artists, and intellectuals, providing a range of services and amenities that facilitated trade, communication, and cultural exchange.
One of the primary functions of inns during the Dutch Golden Age was to provide accommodations for travelers. As the Dutch Republic became a bustling center of international trade, numerous merchants, diplomats, and other travelers flocked to cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Haarlem. Inns offered them a place to stay, often providing rooms and beds, as well as basic amenities such as meals and stabling for horses.
In addition to lodging, inns served as venues for business and trade. Merchants and traders would meet at inns to negotiate deals, exchange goods, and discuss business matters. Inns became important networking spaces where commercial transactions were conducted, and information about markets, prices, and opportunities was shared.