The Christ Child sits on his mother's lap, naked in contrast to the kings' sumptuous clothes.
Shepherds peer over the fence, people poke their heads out from between pillars: all eyes are on the newborn child.
Our eyes are drawn towards the baby Jesus not least by Caspar''s position, kneeling in towards Christ, offering gold coins in a golden goblet.
Caspar's face may be an image of the man who commissioned the altarpiece, the wealthy Daniel van Boechout.
This is a particularly striking feature of the painting: all the kings have very human faces. Despite their fabulous jewels, rich fabrics and luxurious furs, Gossaert includes their grey hair, hairy warts and bunions.
Balthasar's elaborate headdress shimmers with gold and pearls.
Gossaert, proud of this magnificent picture, signs it not once, but twice: once, as if woven into the fabric of the king's headdress and again around the neck of his companion.
Beautiful angels with coloured, feathered wings and iridescent fabric robes flutter above the family. Others arrive, lined up into the distance.
Our eyes move around the painting, taking in the broken tiles on the ground and the angelic figures in the sky. Gossaert brings together the earthly and the celestial as heaven and earth collide at this moment of immense change – the birth of Christ.