Poussin repeatedly returned to certain themes, elaborating them in different versions. This was in accordance with his theory that „novelty in painting does not lie primarily in theme, but in new and apt arrangement and expression“. He painted thus a number of variants of The Holy Family and Flight into Egypt. The painting reproduced here has been missing since the 19th century, but it is captured in several prints. The elephant in the background was an attribute and symbol of various virtues (e.g. as Religion) but also of Africa, the destination of the family fleeing Herod.