Film about Ruskin and ‘Effie’ provides backing for new lecture series
Art critic’s love affair with Venice and fight to help save it will be the subject of inaugural talk
By Javier Pes. Web only
Published online: 11 August 2014
John Ruskin’s love affair with Venice and a film about his unhappy marriage to Effie Gray have resulted in a new annual lecture series in London dedicated to the work and influence of the Victorian art critic, social reformer and early champion of the Pre-Raphaelites.
The Ruskin Foundation’s new lecture series is made possible by Sovereign Films, the company behind a film about the critic’s ill-matched and unconsummated marriage to Euphemia "Effie" Gray. The inaugural lecture “Ruskin and Venice”, is due to be delivered on 18 September by Anna Somers Cocks, the chief executive of The Art Newspaper, who has long campaigned to help preserve the city and is a former chairman of Venice in Peril.
Meanwhile, “Effie”, a film written and starring the actor Emma Thompson, is due to finally be released on 3 October. Delayed by legal fights over alleged copyright infringement, which Thompson won, the film focuses on the critic’s courtship and marriage to Euphemia "Effie" Gray. Ruskin and his young bride spent their honeymoon in the city: he studied its great buildings while she attracted male admirers.
The marriage was annulled after six years on the grounds on non-consummation. Gray re-married the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais. They eventually had eight children. Ruskin went on to complete the three volumes of “The Stones of Venice” among many other books and writings.
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