This photograph of Nikolai Berdyaev (1874–1948) and Maria Skobtsova (1891–1945) was taken in 1938. Berdyaev, a Kiev-born philosopher, was expelled from Russia in 1922 and found a second home in Paris where he continued to teach and work for the rest of his life.
Maria Skobtsova was born into an aristocratic family in Riga under the name of Elizaveta Pilenko. Initially an atheist and a member of radical intellectual circles in St. Petersburg, she later moved to South Russia and soon became religious. Due to her political activities, she and her family had to leave the country and eventually arrived in Paris in 1923. After her marriage with Daniel Skobtsov had failed, she became a nun and assumed the name of Maria, founding a convent-like open house in Paris which was used as a refuge by many Jews during the Nazi occupation. Consequently, Maria Skobtsova, who was later canonized a saint, was arrested by the Gestapo and died in the Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1945.
Berdyaev and Mother Maria, black-and-white photograph, 1938, unknown photographer, scan: ShinePhantom; source: Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NikolayBerdyaev_with_Maria_Skobtzeva.jpg, public domain.