Similar to Adriaen Brouwer or David Teniers the Younger, the painter and etcher Adriaen van Ostade specialized in ribald, humorous genre pictures featuring peasant tavern scenes with card players, drinkers, and smokers, as well as bucolic revelers. Ostade also had a predilection for depicting individual figures in so-called window scenes, one of the most peculiar and fascinating subjects in 17th-century Dutch art. Whereas the etching Smoker at the Window may be interpreted as a symbol of the sense of smell, the slightly opened tankard and the long white clay pipe indicate a brothel scene. In the 17th century, smoking was part of a visit to a brothel, also because tobacco was thought to have a prophylactic effect against syphilis. Consequently, this smoker at the window is a client waiting for the woman of his choice. Ostade supplemented and reworked the etching Smoker at the Window several times: The subsequently added drypoint hatching on the figure’s coat designate this as a work in the third state.