Poussin more than once turned to subjects related to the Holy Family. In the three paintings that you see in front of you, besides the traditional figures of the Madonna, the Infant Jesus and Joseph, there are figures of Sts. Anna and John the Baptist. Scenes from the life of the Holy Family gained especial popularity among artists in the XV century, but Poussin managed to innovatively approach this plot.
The vertical format, which is usual for paintings of this kind, it replaces with the horizontal one – and at the same time achieves an unusual effect. In the horizontal format, his canvases “The Holy Family with Six Angels” and “The Holy Family on the Steps”, 1648, were used.