Chestertown, MD, November 11, 2003 — Charlotte Ribeyrol, a lecturer in English at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, will present the lecture “Turner and Ruskin: The Art of Ekphrasis,” Wednesday, November 12, at 4:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. This lecture, co-sponsored by Washington College's Sophie Kerr Committee and the Department of Art, is open to the public, and all are invited to attend.
As her title indicates, Ribeyrol's talk will deal with the literary tradition of describing works of art. She will concentrate on the writings of the Victorian author and art critic John Ruskin, particularly on his classic opus,Modern Painters, in which he vigorously defended the paintings of William Turner, whose work had been widely dismissed. Ribeyrol entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure at the age of 19 as an English major. Once there, she began studying art history, specializing in Flemish painting and in the links between text and image. She wrote her master's thesis on Ruskin and painting while teaching French at Oxford University (Somerville College). Returning to France, she won first place in the “Agrégation,” the national competitive exam for prospective university teachers. She then spent a second year teaching in Oxford (Christ Church, Brasenose and Lincoln Colleges) while writing her master's thesis on Swinburne and Whistler. Ribeyrol is currently writing her doctoral thesis on the role of ekphrasis in late nineteenth century (Fin de Siècle) poetry in England and in France, while working on a project with the Louvre on ancient Greek frescoes.