Filippino Lippi and Bernardo & Iacopo di Francesco
St. John the Evangelist and St. Philip
Strozzi Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
St. John the Evangelist is on the left; before him is the eagle that is his symbol. On the right, Philip carries the long cross that is often used as his attribute. He reaches over into John's book. In the other gospels Philip is mentioned only in lists of the Apostles. But in John he appears as an actor in the episode of his and Nathanael's induction into that group (1:43-48), in the story of feeding the five thousand (6:5-12), and in his reporting to Jesus about the Greeks who wanted to see him (12:20-22).
Philip is not remembered as an author of anything, so that is not the significance of the book on his knee. It could be a reference to his statement to Nathanael in John 1:45b, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus the son of Joseph of Nazareth."
View this image in full resolution.
Read more about St. Philip.
Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.