We find a huge number of characters within this painting, surrounding a makeshift tent in which the main figures can be seen and quickly identified. Most are to be found at the bottom of the composition, where an opening can be seen. Most others are playing a supporting role, allowing the artist to display his figurative skills right across this canvas. He was someone who devoted attention to each and every part of the composition, filling many of his paintings deep in visual information.
This piece now resides at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium but is not considered one of the highlights of his career. That said, it is still highly significant because of the continuation of religion within his work as well as the simple fact that not many of his original paintings still exist, perhaps less than one hundred. The Adoration of the Kings, or Magi as sometimes known, has been taken on by a number of different artists over the years, with a strongest focus within the Renaissance periods. We can therefore compare Bruegel's efforts against some of the other contributions to see directly the differences in style between some of the greatest names in art history.
The Brussels Museum hosts a good variety of art, from the period of artists like Bruegel all the way up to the likes of James Ensor who was far more recent. They also have enough to display specific rooms devoted to Rene Magritte and Peter Paul Rubens. In terms of Bruegel, they also have Landscape with the Fall of Icarus which ranks as one of his most respected paintings in history. The overall collection serves the region around Brussels and Northern Europe particularly well, and there is a rich art history coming this area of Northern Europe that deserves to be seen and appreciated. Elsewhere, Bruegel also produced Adoration of the Kings in the Snow and other examples of the role of Christianity within European art are available right across the ages.