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Translation and Ekphrasis: Dante and the Visual Arts

Translation and Ekphrasis: Dante and the visual arts

Strand: Translation and Criticism

Speaker(s): Professor Robin Kirkpatrick, Professor Jas Elsner, Andrew Klevan (respondent), Professor Matthew Reynolds (respondent)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 16:00 to 18:15; St Anne's, Ruth Deech Building, Seminar Room 8

Ekphrasis finds words for paintings and other visual phenomena; translation finds words for other words. But how secure is this distinction, given that language has visual form, and that the visual arts can employ language-like elements? This seminar explored the interplay between translation and ekphrasis, looking at examples from Dante and much else. 

Robin Kirkpatrick is Professor of Italian and English Literature at Cambridge. He is the author of many books on Dante and on the Renaissance, and the translator of the recent Penguin verse Divine Comedy.

Jas Elsner is Professor of Late Antique Art at Oxford and the author of many publications, including Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text and the essay 'Art History as Ekphrasis'.

The session was animated by Dr Andrew Klevan and Prof Matthew Reynolds.