Saint Philip

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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A bearded Saint Philip stands in a landscape, immersed in a book. A slender cross rests against his shoulder, with another cross attached to it where Christ’s crucified body would have been hung, a reference to Philip’s martyrdom (he was crucified upside down).

This painting was originally part of a large, multi-panelled altarpiece painted by Lorenzo Costa for the oratory of S. Pietro in Vincoli, Faenza, other parts of which are also in the National Gallery’s collection. This picture appeared next to The Virgin and Child, with Saint Paul on the other side. The steps on Philip’s left are part of the Virgin’s elaborate throne, and the delicate landscape behind him extends across these three panels.

The National Gallery, London



Saint Philip




Oil on canvas


H 109.8 x W 57.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1859

Work type



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The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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