In Memoriam: Maria Struve

13 Nov 2020 • In Memoriam

With faith in Christ and hope in the resurrection, we share news of the repose of renowned iconographer Maria Struve, who fell asleep in the Lord Friday, November 13 in France. She was 95.

Struve painted the icons in the old chapel of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, which was in use until 1983 when the Seminary’s Three Hierarchs Chapel was constructed. Many of those icons now adorn the walls of the current chapel.

Maria Struve’s iconography adorned the iconostasis and walls of the old chapel at St. Vladimir’s Seminary (photo: ca.1960s)Maria Struve’s iconography adorned the iconostasis and walls of the old chapel at St. Vladimir’s Seminary (photo: ca.1960s) 

Maria Alexandrovna Struve, née Elchaninov, was born in Russia in 1925. She was the daughter of Fr. Alexander Elchaninov (1881-1934), the author of Diary of a Russian Priest (SVS Press), and Matushka Tamara (née Levandovskaya, 1897-1981), who was also a skilled iconographer. Struve was among the Russian émigré community that settled in France in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917. She became a student of famous iconographers Leonid Ouspensky and Sister Joanna (Julia Reitlinger), and is responsible for the first icons of the first Russian Orthodox saints of France. Struve painted many icons and iconostases for individuals and churches in France, Switzerland, and the United States. She also assisted her husband, author and translator Nikita Alexeyevich Struve (+2016), in his editorial work. Her life was filled with blessed encounters with figures such as Fr. Sergius Bukgakov, St. Maria Skobtsova, and many others. 

 Many of Struve’s icons, including these icons of Christ and the Theotokos, now adorn the walls of the Seminary’s Three Hierarchs Chapel.Many of Struve’s icons, including these icons of Christ and the Theotokos, now adorn the walls of the Seminary’s Three Hierarchs Chapel.

Struve is survived by her children, Blandine, Mélanie, and Daniel, their spouses, and grandchildren.

May her memory be eternal!

 Maria Struve’s Icons at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

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(Many details and Struve’s photo for this article were obtained from Orthodoxie.com)