Maria Theresia von Fürstenberg
The German Iconographer and artist M.T.v. Fuerstenberg has lived in Heidelberg for the last three years, producing her own art and giving courses in iconography. Born in Westphalia in 1965, she grew up and was schooled between Portugal and Germany, then moved to Florence in Italy, where she completed her art-studyes at the Istitudo per l’Arte e il Restauro.

During this time she was taught modern, classic and ancient painting techniques. Since 1987 she continued her artistic education in France with
Eva Vlavianos, probably the best known of the contemporaneous iconographers. Much influenced by the deeply reflective aspect of iconography, at which she had become extremely proficient, Maria Theresia entered into religious order in Marseille in 1990 in order to continue her spiritual research while serving handicapped children and their families. In 2005 she decided to leave this order, so as to further advance her personal and artistic development in a solitary climate of silence.
Stacks Image 1286
Stacks Image 1289
The iconograph
The word "icon" is Greek and simply means "image". It is mentioned at the very beginning of the bible: "God created humankind in his image…" (Gen. 1,27) Christ is, as St. Paul says "the image of the invisible God" (Col 1,15).
Icons are "written" rather than painted, as they are meant to tell a whole story, rather than just a snapshot of a moment. Writing the icon of Christ and of the mysteries of Christian faith is a way of approaching God. In his work the iconographer does not seek selffulfillment, but rather employs his time and expertise in order to visualize the Christian faith as taught by the Church. When he writes an icon he enters more and more into this faith and discovers it. His work is an act of humble prayer and The course in iconography stretches over a five-day period and teaches all the steps of making or writing an icon. The students spend these days retired from their normal lives, as they try to enter into a state of calmness, prayer and contemplation similar to other spiritual exercises. Each day is structured along the lines of the liturgy and the work in the studio. The meals are taken in silence as indeed is most of the day. There is one moment each day when all students come together and are able to share their impressions and voice any questions or observation that may matter to them. The aim of my courses is to discover the icon as a spiritual path.
contemplation.

The course in iconography
The course in iconography stretches over a five-day period and teaches all the steps of making or writing an icon. The students spend these days retired from their normal lives, as they try to enter into a state of calmness, prayer and contemplation similar to other spiritual exercises. Each day is structured along the lines of the liturgy and the work in the studio. The meals are taken in silence as indeed is most of the day. There is one moment each day when all students come together and are able to share their impressions and voice any questions or observation that may matter to them. The aim of my courses is to discover the icon as a spiritual path.

As God is invisible, don't make a picture of Him. But as you can see that the Invisible has taken human identity, make a picture of His human appearance. When the Invisible becomes visible in flesh, paint the picture of the Invisible (St. Jean Damascene, AD 675-749)


"My own art"
Iconography and my personal art are complementary to me. In the iconography I discover and meditate my christian faith. When I work in my personal style, I express what comes from my interior. The various questions and battles that arise within inspire me to contemplate and express the life that I am in. I am lucky to have many artistic techniques at my disposal and in any given situation I will use one or the other technique to express best what I am thinking and feeling.

You can contact the artist directly for any comments, questions or suggestions or if you are thinking of commissioning a piece of her art. Simply click here: Kontakt