In 1609 Rubens painted a large Adoration of the Magi for the Antwerp Town Hall. The painting made its way to the King of Spain and Rubens, arriving at the Spanish court in 1628, repainted, extended and refashioned the picture to his own satisfaction (incorporating a self-portrait). The painting, now in the collection of the Prado, incorporates a dialogue by the painter himself. The picture has been newly conserved, and following the dialogue has been made easier by the existence of a copy in a private collection of the 1609 version of the much altered work. It has been the fascinating task of Prado curator Alejandro Vergara and the Prado conservation department to investigate the changes Rubens made and their motivation, while Joost vander Auwara provides a new analysis, employing new documents and rereading known ones, of the intentions and iconography of the original Antwerp commission.