The Flight into Egypt

12th century
Holy Chamber, Cathedral of St. Savior, Oviedo

St. Joseph is on the left, with the walking stick that is often seen in images of this episode. On the right the child hands Mary a palm date, referring to the apocryphal story of the tree that he ordered to bow down to her so she could have its fruit.

The scene above the Holy Family could be the Slaughter of the Innocents, which sometimes accompanies images of the Flight into Egypt. The figure on the right brandishes an axe while the woman on the left shelters what appears to be a baby in her cloak. But neither the man with the axe nor the three others are dressed as soldiers, and it is not clear why four persons would be attacking only one woman.

View this image in full resolution.
Read more about the Flight into Egypt and the Slaughter of the Innocents

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.